Strong sales continue at independent department store group

Independent department store group Morleys has reported another growth in sales as turnover surpassed £100m.

According to its latest filed accounts for the year ended 28 January 2023, total sales rose 24.4% to £104m from £83.6m in 2022, adding to its growth of 56.8% from £53.3m in 2021.

Pre-tax profit resulted at £8.1m, slightly down from £8.4m recorded the previous year.

Stated within its report, the group said that it retail store business enjoyed a strong Q4, enabling it to deliver close to budget with a 10% improvement on the prior year. Within this division, sales represented £93.9m, with a pre-tax profit of £3.8m.

“Morleys in Brixton successfully completed its £3m investment in the last quarter and the store is expected to contribute significantly to the group performance going forward,” the business said.

“We completed the refurbishment of our department store Roomes in Upminster on time and below budget and is also expected to contribute positively going forward. Pearsons encountered delays with regards to its planning applications, however these are expected to be approved during 2023 with works commencing early 2024.

“There has been a strategic shift in the department store business, moving from a concession operation towards more of an own bought model, resulting in increased margins and a higher stock investment. This change means we will be more in charge of our direction of travel and puts us in control of our destiny.”

The group added that its education business and property arm both delivered improved performances during the period.

Morleys Group is a chain of independently owned department stores operating in the South East under a variety of different fascias including Morleys (in Brixton and Tooting), Roomes of Upminster, Pearsons of Enfield, Elys of Wimbledon, Selbys and Camp Hopson.

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