N Brown becomes next high street casualty as the Simply Be owner mulls axing its stores


  • N Brown is considering closing all of its 20 high street stores 
  • The closures could cost the fashion company as much as £22million
  • The company put it down to ‘very disappointing’ shopper numbers

Emily Hardy For This Is Money

Plus-size fashion group N Brown is taking the axe to its store estate and could close all 20 of its shops, as ‘very disappointing’ footfall takes it toll on the firm.

The closures will cost N Brown, which counts Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo among its brands, between £18million and £22million pounds, depending on how many disposals it decides to go through with. 

‘Given continued very disappointing footfall, and despite significant cost efficiencies being achieved, we are today entering into a consultation with store colleagues to consider closing our 20 stores ahead of lease expiry,’ the retailer said. 

N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler, pictured here with Cricketer Andrew Flintoff and  model Candice Huffine outside its Oxford Street store, said the decision to close shops was not made lightly.

N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler, pictured here with Cricketer Andrew Flintoff and  model Candice Huffine outside its Oxford Street store, said the decision to close shops was not made lightly.

N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler, pictured here with Cricketer Andrew Flintoff and  model Candice Huffine outside its Oxford Street store, said the decision to close shops was not made lightly.

N Brown retail sales declined in the first quarter of its financial year

N Brown retail sales declined in the first quarter of its financial year

N Brown retail sales declined in the first quarter of its financial year

Its store portfolio generated a £3million loss last year on £15million of sales.

CEO Angela Spindler dubbed it a ‘challenging period for fashion retail’ and said the closures are ‘in line’ with the firm’s strategy of becoming an online retailer. 

N Brown is the latest in a string of retailers to announce store closures. 

Carpetright, New Look, House of Fraser and Mothercare have opted to shut shops as visitor numbers wane and large store estates become unsustainable.  

N Brown said first its quarter trading was ‘satisfactory’. 

Group sales inched up 0.4 per cent, driven by a strong performance online and at its financial services arm. Product revenue sunk 2.8 per cent.    

The company stuck to its full-year expectations.    

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