Head office fees sink Crew Clothing profits

Crew Clothing, the British retailer famed for its nautically-inspired clothes, lifted sales by almost 6pc last year while its losses swelled after splashing out on its head office.

The casual fashion brand reported £58.3m of sales for the year to Oct 30 2016, compared with £55m in the previous year, after strong online sales and investment in its product ranges.

However, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell by 18.2pc to £2.4m, while pre-tax losses grew from £2.5m to £2.9m on the back of an investment in its head office in south-west London.

Alastair Parker-Swift, the Crew founder and chief executive, said that a significant challenge was “attracting new and retaining existing customers in a very competitive and promotional retail environment”.

He added that “a positive economic and favourable legislative environment is key to the overall success of the retail sector in the UK and as a consequence that of Crew Clothing”.

Many retailers have called for a longer transition period in Brexit negotiations to allow businesses to adapt to trade duty or employee changes that they may have to make.

Mr Parker-Swift, a former professional skier and windsurfer, founded Crew Clothing in 1993 by selling rugby shirts and sailing-themed clothes from a shop in Salcombe, Devon.


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