Home shopping group N Brown to open 25 new Click and Collect stores
By Li-mei Hoang
LONDON Oct 9 (Reuters) - N Brown plans to open up to 25 stores in its home market to drive sales from its Click and Collect service, after the British home shopping group reported solid trading in the first six months of the year.
The company, which targets older and larger shoppers with brands such as Simply Be, Jacamo and Marisota, said it would add two new stores at the end of October in Leeds and Derby in northern and central England, with plans for more later.
Angela Spindler, who replaced Alan White as chief executive in July, said she was looking at prime locations across the UK after the group reported strong sales of 3.4 million pounds ($5.48 million) from its existing seven Click and Collect stores.
"The idea is that the stores are multi-channel hubs for our customers, whether those customers shop with us online, in-store or over the telephone and we've come up with 25," Spindler told Reuters.
The company has also launched a Click and Collect service across 3,000 local convenience stores this month, ahead of the Christmas season to help spur internet sales, after seeing a 13 percent increase in online sales in the first half.
"I see that (Click and Collect) being a big driver of convenience for our customers in the coming season," Spindler said.
Online sales now represent 56 percent of N Brown's home shopping sales compared to 53 percent last year, as the group continues to shift its marketing activity online.
"The shift of sales online remains a key opportunity given the positive revenue and cost benefits. Mobile now represents 36 percent of web traffic," N+1 Singer analysts wrote in a note.
The Manchester, northwest England-based group reported a 7.1 percent rise in pre-tax profit to 45 million pounds in the first half to end August and an 8 percent rise in sales to 409.6 million pounds ($659.68 million).
Like-for-like sales were up 8 percent for the 5 weeks to October 5.
N Brown shares were down 2.4 percent at 502.15 pence at 0730 GMT, after they rose by more than 80 percent in the last year.
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