Moss Bros to rebrand up to 100 stores into new high street chain

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The Independent Online

Moss Bros, the menswear retailer, unveiled a restructuring yesterday that will see three of its formats converted to a new high street chain called Code.

Moss Bros, the menswear retailer, unveiled a restructuring yesterday that will see three of its formats converted to a new high street chain called Code.

The Savoy Taylors Guild, Blazer and the Suit Company stores will be replaced by a smaller number of Code outlets. Forty stores will close as part of the process although Moss Bros is keeping its more upmarket Cecil Gee and Hugo Boss stores as well as its out of town discount format, Brand Centre.

The Code stores will offer a modern range of menswear at prices starting from similar to Next up to "Ted Baker and French Connection" prices. Only two branches are open so far although a further five will open by the end of the month. The plan is to have a chain of 80-100.

Rowland Gee, Moss Bros' managing director said the name was derived from the clothes the stores will offer - "Casualwear, Office, Dressing up and Essentials". Moss Bros had to pay £12,000 for the rights to use the name as a fashion brand as it had already been registered by an Italian textile company.

Moss Bros first announced a review of its high street stores in May. Yesterday, the company reported a £16.7m loss for the six months to 29 July including a £4.2m operating loss and a £12m provision to cover the re-structuring. Underlying sales in the half were down 2 per cent. The interim dividend was suspended.

Moss Bros shares closed 5p lower at 26p. The business now has a stock market value of just £24m.

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