Fast fashion brand Quiz stumbles as people shop less on the high street

(Reuters) - Fast fashion chain Quiz Plc QUIZ.L reported a 5% drop in half-year revenue on Friday, blaming challenging conditions on the British high street which has been hobbled by declining shopping traffic.

Britain’s retail industry has been hurt by weaker consumer demand and Quiz has had to resort to deep discounts to clear inventories, denting profit margins.

“Trading conditions on the UK high street have remained very challenging. The group’s stores and concessions have experienced a reduction in footfall during the period against the prior year, resulting in weaker than initially anticipated sales,” the 26- year old fashion brand said.British retailers endured their worst September since at least the mid-1990s, according to recent surveys that painted a muted picture of household demand ahead of Brexit.

The company’s sales fell to 63.3 million pounds ($78.88 million) in the six months ended Sept. 30 from 66.7 million pounds in the year ago period, dented by a 11% drop in Quiz’s standalone stores and concessions in the United Kingdom.

However, the company said the rate of sales declines in its 73 UK stores has reduced in recent weeks.

While trading conditions are expected to remain challenging in the short term, Quiz’s said its shifting focus to online sales can return the company to sustainable profitable growth in the medium term.

Pre-market indications showed Quiz’s shares down 5%.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr