Moss Bros eyes 40 new shops in 'buyer's market'
Monday 13 July 2009
Moss Bros, the men's branded suit specialist, has revealed ambitious plans to grow its store numbers by nearly 40 per cent as it seeks to take advantage of a soft retail property market during the economic downturn.
Michael Hitchcock, Moss Bros's finance director, said it was a "buyer's market" and had recently identified 40 "preferred locations" for new Moss stores. He added: "The market is so much in favour of the buyer and you can roll out stores for very little cash outlay because landlords will do deals but you have got to have a good covenant. They will not do deals with any Tom, Dick or Harry."
The group has 104 Moss fascias, 19 outlet shops, six Savoy Taylors Guilds, two Canalis, one Simon Carter, 10 Cecil Gee stores and 16 Boss franchise outlets.
Robust retailers are finding that landlords, with scores of vacant shops, are increasingly willing to offer financial concessions such as rent-free periods and contributions to shop-fitting fees. "You can fit out shops and it will not cost you a penny," said Mr Hitchcock.
Mr Hitchcock wouldn't say exactly how many stores Moss Bros would open in this financial year or next, but said: "If you look at the run rate over the past five to eight years, the business is very capable of opening eight to 10 stores a year." Of its total annual rental bill, up to three-quarters now takes the form of monthly payments, instead of quarterly.
For the 16 weeks to 23 May, Moss Bros said that like-for-like sales, which strip out the impact of new space, fell by 3.9 per cent. Mr Hitchcock declined to comment on current trade, but sales of suits are thought to be robust. The company said that for the period to 23 May, unit sales of suits were up by 27 per cent, as men who fear for their jobs smarten up or dress-to-impress for interviews. Mr Hitchcock said: "They don't want to stand out as the scruffy one in the office."
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...