Blacks cuts stock by 27.6pc in business review

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Blacks Leisure Group cut stock levels by 27.6 per cent in the first half of its financial year.

The move, part of a programme to strengthen core disciplines, saw stock levels fall from £39.3 million in 2010 to £28.5m.

The group, whose brands include Blacks and Millets, overhauled the stock management function and cleared excess stock. At the same time stock intake levels were reduced and realigned with sales phasing.

It said that it was entering the second half with a more appropriate level and higher quality stock holding.

The group has been struggling with like-for-like sales down 7.2 per cent to £81.1 million and a pre-tax loss £16m – compared to a £7.2m loss last year.

Chief executive Julia Reynolds, who took over in August, said: “Since August, we have addressed some critical retail issues facing the group, most notably realigning the stock position and strengthening the management team in key functions, while simultaneously implementing a thorough root and branch review of the business.

“While the strategic planning process is nearing completion, it is already apparent that there are multiple opportunities to bring fresh retail ideas and disciplines to the business and more properly exploit its market leadership position, brand heritage and unparalleled brand recognition in the outdoor retail space. Notwithstanding the challenges of a difficult economic environment, the potential opportunity for a turnaround is clear.”


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