Monsoon to open more stores following administration recovery

Monsoon to open more stores following administration recovery

Monsoon is set to open more stores next year after a recovery in profitability and a “surprising” return to high street shopping, Financial Times has reported.

The business has 154 UK stores split between Monsoon and sister brand Accessorize, a reduction from 230 at the time it went into administration. The business has confirmed it now plans to open another 22 in the current financial year.

Monsoon Accessorize reported £196 million in annual sales for the 12 months to December 2021, driven by the turnaround strategy instigated by its parent company Adena Brands, which purchased the Monsoon and Accessorize brands out of administration in 2020.

The turnaround strategy’s five pillars – product and brand renewal, digital transformation, retail portfolio restructuring, international restructuring, and central cost reduction – had all contributed ahead of expectations, Adena said.

Nick Stowe, Chief Executive Officer, told the Financial Times: “Retail is doing great at the moment”, adding that the strength of the return to stores after a big pivot to ecommerce during the pandemic “had surprised us a bit”.

Annual accounts for holding company Adena Brands, due to be filed at Companies House shortly, show sales of £240m in the year to 27 August, with pre-tax profit of £17.8m and net cash of £22m.

Stowe added: “We could probably get up to 200 stores in the UK if we wanted to. The retail landscape has changed quite a lot… and the business rates changes next year could make quite a difference to the store portfolio — they make [opening stores] more attractive”.

Across the group, ecommerce sales reportedly make up 45% of the total, up from around 20% before the COVID-19 pandemic. The proportion of ecommerce sales at Monsoon is much higher than at Accessorize, where most sales are still made in stores.

Earlier this year, Peter Simon, Founder and Chairman, commented: “Over the past two years our team has worked tirelessly to save the business, return it to a solid footing and secure the long-term future of the brands.

“Our priority was to save the business, secure over 2,300 UK jobs and maintain our presence as a leader on the high street: we have achieved that. We would not have been able to do this without the continued support of all our landlords and suppliers.”

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