FASHION RETAIL NEWS UK
Independent footwear retailer Charles Clinkard has posted an 8% increase in in-store sales over the past year.
Since April 2022, the retailer has also seen customer footfall grow by 15% as more shoppers return to the high street following the pandemic. While in-store sales and footfall have seen the biggest spike, Charles Clinkard’s online sales have also increased, with an uplift of 3% in the period.
Tim Payne, managing director of retail at Charles Clinkard, said: “It’s really promising to see the resurgence of the high street over the past year as this is such an important part of our business model and is completely woven into our DNA. Over the past 99 years, we have been at the heart of the high street and understand that our customers value the personalised shopping experience that our knowledgeable staff are able to offer, so it’s great to see this return post-pandemic.
“All evidence was pointing to 2023 being a very tough year for the retail sector, with inflationary pressures leading to a reduction in household disposable income and resulting in a decrease in consumer spending. However, the year seems to have started reasonably well, and consumer confidence has been higher than expected which is great news for retail businesses.”
The retailer said casual trainers have continued to be a driving trend for the business, which has seen a 21% rise in trainer sales over the past 12 months. However, dress and court shoes are making a steady come back as customers return to the office and attend events such as parties or weddings.
Looking ahead, Payne said: “With a strong trading period for both in-store and e-commerce under our belt, we see this being another successful year for Charles Clinkard and we’ve budgeted sensibly to try and balance rising costs in key areas such as staffing and haven’t put too much pressure on achieving significant sales growth against the backdrop of the current economic climate.
“Fortunately, this should still leave us in a profitable position in a year’s time and with plenty of headroom on the balance sheet going into 2024. The main strategic objective is to work through the challenges of this year and to start 2024 all set up for growth if economic conditions are more favourable.”
Charles Clinkard sells a range of shoes for men, women and children from brands such as Gabor, Rieker, Skechers, Clarks, Loake and Birkenstock.
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