N Brown, the retailer behind the Jacamo, Simply Be and JD Williams brands, has announced it will consider the closure of all 20 of its retail stores, putting shops in Manchester, Liverpool, and Bury under threat.
In a trading update this morning, the company said following “very disappointing footfall”, it would focus on online retail, and will enter into a consultation process on whether to close its 20 stores across the UK ahead of lease expiry.
In the North West, it has a Jacamo and Simply Be store at Liverpool ONE; an outlet in the Arndale Centre in Manchester; and a Jacamo and Simply Be shop at The Rock in Bury.
If all of its stores close, it is expected to cost the company between £18m and £22m, half of which will be in cash.
Around 75% of the company’s revenue is now generated online, while its stores only generated 2% of group revenue and posted a combined loss of £3m.
The company’s chief executive Angela Spindler said: “As highlighted in our full year results, this was a challenging period for fashion retail. Against this backdrop and a double-digit comparative in product revenue, I am satisfied with our Q1 performance. At this early stage in the financial year our full year expectations are unchanged.
“In line with our online strategy, and given continued weak high street footfall, we have today commenced a consultation process with colleagues over the future of our small store estate. This action has not been taken lightly and we will do all we can to support the colleagues affected during this process.
“We continue at pace our journey to become a global online retailer, uniquely delivering fashion that fits. This will underpin our future growth, both in the UK and Internationally.”
The company is the latest fashion retailer to announce a raft of store closures in recent months, following New Look, which announced it would close stores in Stockport and Bolton as part of a move to cut shop numbers by 60.