Monsoon to close stores and cut costs as profits slip

Monsoon is to close stores, cut costs and revamp its online operations after profits fell 19% last year.

The fashion retailer, which is privately owned by founder Peter Simon and his family, said profits slid to just over £50m in the year to 30 August 2014 after sales slid nearly 8% to £509m.

Simon said the group, which also owns the Accessorize chain, had endured a “challenging year” with weaker performance in both the UK and overseas. 

“The performance of the Monsoon ladies brand was particularly disappointing, and although much of this was due to the unseasonal weather conditions, we have work to do here to improve the range,” he said.

Simon ousted chief executive John Browett in February after just two years in the job. The former Dixons boss, who was also hired and then dropped by Apple after six months, has yet to be replaced. Paul Allen, the former chief executive of fashion label Jacques Vert, has stepped in to run Monsoon in the interim.

Browett’s exit from Monsoon came after a difficult few months at the fashion chain which suffered along with other clothing retailers after last year’s warm autumn which depressed sales of winter knitwear and coats.

Allen said he was undertaking a “strategic transformation programme” that would aim to strengthen the Monsoon brand and clothing ranges, reduce costs and tackle underperformance overseas. 

Simon warned that profits would fall again this financial year, which includes 2014’s tough winter season, as Allen’s programme take two years to deliver benefits. 


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