Noni B looks beyond doldrums

Noni_B_w300Despite ongoing retail challenges of widespread discounting and low consumer confidence, Noni B is stronger than ever, according to its chairman.

At the womenswear retail brand’s annual meeting last week, Lynn Wood said Noni B was in its strongest ever position financially, with re-styled ranges in store and a fresh marketing campaign luring new customers.

However, sales at Noni B declined 3 per cent in the first quarter of this financial year, while heavy discounting in the retail sector put further downward pressure on profit margins. Wood attributed the result to general retail markdowns and a decline in consumer confidence, particularly in September due to uncertainty over the Federal election. The pre-Christmas trading season, comprising November and December would be critical months for the company, she added.

Meanwhile Noni B joint managing director David Kindl said the outlook for the remainder of 2010-11 was optimistic, with the stronger dollar to help margins in the coming months, although this would be offset by higher manufacturing costs in China and rising cotton costs.

In 2009-10 Noni B recorded a 0.5 per cent fall in comparable-store sales and flat overall sales at $117.4 million.

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