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French Connection on comeback trail

UK fashion chain French Connection has reduced its full year loss as sales recover.

FCUK has reported an £800,000 underlying operating loss for the year to January 31 – vastly better than the £4.4 million loss in the year to January 31, 2014.

The retailer, once notorious for its casual fashion items bearing slogans with its abbreviated name FCUK, had fallen out of favour with customers when the ‘joke’ wore off. It subsequently changed its labeling to French Connection and tried to move more upmarket path with its design positioning. But that change took years to gain favour with shoppers.

The company spent the last year closing unprofitable stores and redesigning its product range.

Announcing its figures this week, FCUK said same store sales across the UK fell by three per cent year-on-year, citing unusually warm weather in the second half of the year for the drop, in concert with its rivals.

Wholesale revenues rose 4.6 per cent.

Chairman and CEO Stephen Marks said despite “difficult retail trading conditions” in the second half the results demonstrated the company has made another step towards returning to profitability.

“Although we are encouraged by forward orders in our wholesale business, trading on the high street remains challenging and we are planning accordingly.”

*Photo:  French Connection Shop at Covent Garden. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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