Oasis returns to profit as sales flourish and new flagship store opens
By WGSN Insider

Less discounts and new, improved quality merchandise is changing the fortunes of this UK high-street retailer. WGSN Global News Editor Nigel Taylor reports

Nov 27, 2015
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Oasis journey upmarket is paying off. The UK fashion brand, which has returned to profit for the first time in three years, said new stores with better-quality merchandise, plus fewer discounted items, boosted performance and attracted consumers.

Sales at the 406-store retailer jumped 5.4% to £171.9m in the year to the end of February. Pre-tax profits came in at £5.6m following a £0.3m pre-tax loss, according to accounts filed at Companies House and seen by The Independent Online.

Oasis’s online sales also jumped 32% on the year, representing 15% of total sales.

According to the accounts, £3.4m was spent upgrading Oasis flagship stores, leading to an 18% increase in sales there.

A new flagship store was also opened recently on London’s Tottenham Court Road, complete with in-store café, prosecco bar and beauty salon.

Executives will now turn their attention to sister brand Warehouse, where sales fell from £137.3m to £130.3m over the same period for a pre-tax loss of £3.8m.

However, the combined group reported a net profit of £1.1m thanks to Oasis’s strong performance. Both businesses have completed a costly demerger from their parent company Aurora Fashions, which also owns Coast.

Although Warehouse continues to struggle it is hoping the appointment of Emma Cook as brand director and Alasdhair Willis as new design director will improve both image and performance.

Coast, which is run by Kate Bostock and Andrew Skinner, is in year two of its turnaround and narrowed losses by 22% to £10.3m. A break-even target is expected this financial year.

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