10 Jul 2008

Clothing retailer signals sales downturn

7:31 pm on 10 July 2008

Another major retailer has signalled a downturn in sales as customers hit by rising living costs keep their wallets closed.

Clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson has announced it expects its annual profit to be 28% down on its previous result, with sales so far this year down 6%.

The company says the downturn is occurring in New Zealand and Australia, and it is now looking at a full year profit by August of about $15 million, down from $21.3 million last year.

Chief executive Shayne Quanchi says the current trading environment is the most challenging it has been for a number of years.

In recent weeks, Briscoes and The Warehouse have also made similar statements.

Head of equities research at BT Funds Management, Slade Robertson, says Hallenstein Glasson is an experienced and very good retailer which has been through this sort of cycle many times before.

Mr Robertson says the company is responding by discounting and promotions to ensure it is not carrying excess stock during the downturn, and this has contributed to the slip in profit.