Pre-election economic caution hurting clothing sales, says Noni B
Fashion retailer Noni B's sales in the new financial year have been hit by nervous shoppers amid economic uncertainty ahead of the federal election.
Noni B on Tuesday reported a $3.5 million loss in the year to June 30 - a swing from the previous year's $2.7 million profit.
This follows a write-off of $5 million in goodwill attached to the value of the brand.
Nonetheless, revenue increased 1.6 per cent to $125 million as sales grew by 1.5 per cent across the retailer's 219 stores.
But managing director David Kindl said Australians were spending less on clothing because of uncertainty about the economy. "Consumer confidence has been battered around a bit. The women's fashion market remains challenging and sales throughout the sector have been impacted in July and August by pre-election caution."
Lower margins and increased expenses did not help Noni B's earnings. "The level of discounting in the local market has had the greatest impact on all retailers, not just Noni B," Mr Kindl said.
Staffing levels in stores did not change despite the tougher trading conditions, but Mr Kindl said the company would review up to 30 stores whose leases are scheduled for renewal.