Shoe Zone, the value-focused footwear retailer, has announced impressive results for the past year, with higher revenue and profit. According to its audited annual results, the company saw a rise in revenue to £165.7 million in the 52-week period ending on September 30, compared to £156.2 million the previous year. Store revenue also increased to £134.8 million from £129.8 million, while digital revenue reached £30.9 million, up from £26.4 million. Additionally, Shoe Zone experienced a jump in pre-tax profit, from £13.6 million to £16.2 million, with adjusted pre-tax profit reaching £16.5 million.

These positive results were achieved as Shoe Zone continued its efforts to streamline and reshape its operations, reducing its store count from 360 to 323. This involved closing three “big box” stores, opening 49 hybrid stores, and shutting down 83 “original” stores. The company also managed to save £0.7 million on lease renewals, a 31% decrease on average. Despite operating fewer stores, store revenue still climbed by 3.9%, thanks to the strong performance of relocated and refitted stores.

Looking ahead, Shoe Zone has plans to open new stores and revamp existing ones to fit new formats. The company expects that the proportion of its overall sales accounted for by branded products will increase as these efforts progress. Additionally, Shoe Zone will allocate a minimum of 3-4% of sales per year to cover 50 store projects and make infrastructure changes, including IT projects and acquiring new vehicles.

Regarding its digital operations, Shoe Zone saw a 17% increase in revenues, driven by higher conversion rates and successful sales on platforms such as Amazon. The company continues to invest in its digital infrastructure, recently introducing two automated bagging machines to enhance productivity. Additionally, Shoe Zone is focusing on improving its Digital Shoehub platform, with plans to implement a new returns portal, introduce Google Pay and Apple Pay, and launch a mobile app.

Efficient and customer-friendly returns are considered vital to Shoe Zone’s digital success. The company benefits from an efficient returns process supported by its extensive network of physical stores. Looking forward, Shoe Zone anticipates an increase in product margin levels in the next financial year, as it foresees a full 12 months of lower container prices compared to only six months in the previous year. The company’s buying and shipping teams have excelled in managing the volatile supply chain, outperforming the market average.

Overall, Shoe Zone’s strong performance in both its stores and digital operations demonstrates that its value-focused approach is resonating with customers. With plans for store expansion and ongoing investment in its digital infrastructure, the company is positioned for future success in the competitive footwear market.

Useful links:
1. Shoe Zone Official Website
2. Shoe Zone on Reuters