Clicks & Mortar Boost City Chic Collective Shares

Shares in women’s fashionwear group, City Chic Collective surged more than 15% yesterday on a strong trading update for its online business.

The group (the old Miller’s Fashion) told the ASX in an update that it had grown its online sales 57 percent and traded profitably across its whole business in the past two months, despite its 100-odd stores being shut and an expected slump in retail sales.

The company said its extensive online division had put it in exceptionally good stead for weathering the coronavirus shutdown, with the majority of its business continuing to trade. Two-thirds of City Chic’s revenue is derived from digital sales.

The shares jumped 15.5% to close at $2.82 in a buoyant wider market yesterday that ended up 2.1%.

City Chic’s 107 stores across Australia and New Zealand will also now reopen after being shut since late March, with chief executive Phil Ryan saying the openings would be staged as different states and territories lift their restrictions.

“We have trialled a select number of stores in the last two weeks to ensure we can open our store network with the appropriate safety protocols in place,” he said.

City Chic said it had also negotiated rental relief with a number of landlords, which will continue during the period of COVID-19 uncertainty.

The company has also signed up for wage subsidy programs in both Australia and New Zealand.

City Chic said it has “minimal debt” and “significant headroom in its $40 million debt facility.”

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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