Retailer N Brown has leaned heavily on its core brands in the last few months as the business signed up Amanda Holden and Davina McCall to provide some celebrity firepower.
The business said that its five core brands, Jacamo, Simply Be, JD Williams, Ambrose Wilson and Home Essentials saw revenue grow by 15.5% in the first three months of the financial year.
It marks a stark difference to the business’s “other brands”, including Fashion World, Marisota, Oxendales and Premier Man. In those brands, revenue fell by nearly a quarter.
“The strategic transformation initiatives we have enacted over the past two years have now started to deliver product revenue growth, with customers responding well to the new ranges across our core brands,” said chief executive Steve Johnson.
Mr Johnson has now signed up Holden and McCall to become the new faces of JD Williams. He promised “innovative new campaigns” to inspire customers.
Overall product revenue rose by 4.6% over the three months when compared to the same period last year.
Yet Andrew Wade, an analyst at Jefferies, warned the business is currently comparing to the period between March and May last year, which were some of the worst during the pandemic.
“As N Brown progresses through the year, product revenue comparatives become markedly more challenging – from -26% in the first quarter to -4.3% in the fourth quarter,” he said.
He added: “To drive a continuation of the positive trend, we expect digital marketing investment to ramp up from the second, third quarters as lockdown ends.
“Supporting the longer-term marketing effort, N Brown has today announced the signing of Amanda Holden and Davina McCall as brand ambassadors for key brand JD Williams; we see scope for these associations to add another level of awareness and appeal to the brand.”
Mr Johnson, the chief executive, said: “Whilst the external environment remains challenging, we have made a good start to the financial year and trading remains in line with our expectations.”
N Brown expects product revenue to increase by between 3% and 7% this financial year, with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation reaching £93 million to £100 million.