Jan 27, 2020
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Reiss crushes rivals again as Christmas trading excels

Jan 27, 2020

Fashion retailer Reiss has reported a strong Christmas trading period, both in the UK and internationally, and said the festive season continued a pattern it had seen throughout 2019.


The company said its total like-for-like sales were up an impressive 18% in the seven weeks to January 18, with UK like-for-likes up 15%. Total group sales rose an even healthier 21% with the UK figure being 19%.

That makes its the standout performer in the British fashion retail sector over Christmas and  during the January clearance sale period, with only pureplay online retailers beating its numbers as far as big-name businesses are concerned.

The private equity-controlled company, which is believed to be up for sale, has been a notable success story in recent years. It was founded in 1971 by David Reiss who took a single-store family-owned business and turned it into a powerhouse chain that netted him more than £100 million when he sold control to Warburg Pincus in 2016.

That deal valued the firm at £230 million, but when rumours emerged last year that it was up for sale, there was talk of a £280 million+ price tag.

Christos Angelides, the highly-respected CEO who has helped keep Reiss at the top of its game in recent years, said the pleasing Christmas performance “is a continuation of the momentum we have seen throughout the whole of 2019”.

He also said that the company has started the year well with encouraging sell-through of the SS20 product offer early in the season. 

And he added: “Our customers are responding positively to the steps we have taken to improve the quality and style of our products and we have introduced the brand to more customers both online and through additional physical points of sale”.

Reiss is now present in 15 markets, with a total of 226 points of sale. It has 82 standalone stores, 104 department store concessions and 40 wholesale and franchise points of sale. These include Nordstrom in the US and Shinsegae in South Korea.

Analysts are now expecting the company to report a sharp rise in profits for the year to February. A year ago it made £19.3 million, but £30 million is currently being touted as the number it will reach this time. We won’t know for a few months though as it usually reports during April.

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