Hitch for Moss Bros as wedding suit rentals fall

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The Independent Online

Wedding suit rentals fell this summer because fewer couples were getting married, says the chief executive of Moss Bros.

Brian Brick said: "We've seen wedding suit rentals rise 4 per cent on a compound basis over the last few years, but this year it has fallen off. This usually happens every four years or so."

The 7.2 per cent rental fall left the company with flat pre-tax profits of £2.2m for the six months to the end of July, although like-for-like retail sales were up 1.7 per cent.

Poor weather also affected sales in the spring although this improved in the final eight weeks of the period.

Store revamps have proved successful, with sales up 10 per cent compared with older stores, and 14 sites will be upgraded by the end of the year. Another 20 will be revamped next year.

Elsewhere on the retail front, two experts from the company behind the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex have been poached by the owners of Battersea Power Station to entice stores to their £8bn development. Intu Properties' retail and leasing director Joanne Skilton will run the commercial property team, with Intu's asset management director Jonathan Ainsley as head of estates.