Reiss shrugs off high street downturn as expansion drives surging sales

Fashion retailer Reiss surged to record sales over the past year on the back of its rapid global expansion.

The private equity-backed retailer shrugged off the high street malaise to push sales 21.9% higher to £227.4 million for the year to February 1.

The company, which counts the Duchess of Cambridge among its customers, said it was boosted by a particularly strong Christmas trading period.

Like-for-like sales jumped 18% over the seven-week festive period to January 18, the company said.

The improvement in sales performance has also helped to boost profits, it said, with earnings before tax and interest increasing by 51.6% to £29.3 million over the period.

Christos Angelides, chief executive of Reiss, said 2019 was an “excellent year” and represents the culmination of a two-year-long transformation plan.

He said: “We continued to invest heavily in the design, styling and quality of our collections.

“Customers have noticed the improvements by purchasing more clothes at full price on a like-for-like basis than ever before.

“This has had a very positive impact on profits which climbed significantly higher than sales.”

The company’s growth strategy has been driven by its rapid site expansion, with the business opening 67 more sites during the year, with 29 of these in the US and 18 in the UK.

The chief said Reiss has budgeted for a “more conservative” year in 2020, with plans to open 58 more sites.

In 2019, private equity giant Warburg Pincus bought a majority stake in the retailer which valued it at £230 million.

It has been reported that the firm has brought in advisers from investment bank Rothschild to sound out potential buyers for the chain.