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Monsoon owner plans 22 store openings following administration bounce back

By Rachel Douglass


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Monsoon store front. Image: Adena Brands

Adena Brands, the parent company of Monsoon, Accessorize and East brands, has announced a “strong performance” for its financial year to August 31, 2022, as it continues to make progress on its turnaround strategy.

The group’s sales rose 43 percent to 258 million pounds, with retail sales growing “substantially” at a like-for-like growth of 105 percent, led by Accessorize and its travel business.

Online sales also continued increasing, driven largely by Monsoon’s web demand growth of 22 percent, with online now representing 45 percent of the group’s UK sales.

Over the last year, the womenswear brand has implemented a new website, better digital marketing and ‘Monsoon Bazaar’, a marketplace for third-party brands.

Adena further reported a gross margin growth of 5.4 percent, while its lower, more flexible cost base helped more than double EBITDA for the fiscal year to 24.4 million pounds, up 132 percent.

The group ended the fiscal year with no debt and 22 million pounds of cash.

Adena CEO remains positive for year ahead

In a release, the company said its financial results reflected the continued success of its turnaround strategy, which is now in its third year.

As part of the plan, Adena has followed five main elements; product and brand renewal, digital transformation, retail portfolio renewal, international expansion and continued central cost control.

Both Monsoon and Accessorize have seen their digital presence continue to grow, however Monsoon’s physical retail network was almost non-existent once stores reopened after the pandemic.

Now, Adena is ramping up store numbers, with 19 new UK store openings over 2022 and an additional 22 to be opened in the year ahead.

Furthermore, the group is planning to continue expanding both brands in Europe and the Middle East, including a number of new Accessorize stores in a number of European airports.

In a release, Nick Stowe, CEO of Adena, said: “This past year we’ve made continued strong progress on our turnaround plan, moving from the earlier restructuring phase to a focus on growth.

“We’re entering a clearly more challenging consumer environment as the economy slows, and we’re taking action to control our costs and capital spend. But the business now has a great foundation, we’ve performed well and grown in the first quarter of our new fiscal year, and we remain positive about the year ahead.”

Founder of Monsoon Accessorize Peter Simon bought the company out of administration in 2020 under his own group Adena Brands, to ensure that they continued trading.

Speaking on its latest financials, Simon said: “We took a leap of faith in 2020 to rescue Monsoon and Accessorize at the height of the pandemic.

“We worked through the challenges of the pandemic, then the challenges of the energy shock, and now we’re facing into the challenges of a recession.

“But the business is well-prepared after all the work we’ve done, and I want to thank our customers for their faith in us, all our colleagues for their enduring commitment and our landlords and suppliers for their continued support.”