British clothing retailer N Brown Group Plc (BWNG.L) said on Thursday it was looking to close all its stores and move entirely online, the latest in a string of chains cutting back their High Street presence due to the tough retail environment.
Around 75% of the company's revenue is now generated online, while its stores only generated 2% of group revenue and posted a combined loss of £3m.
Total online revenue increased 3 percent and power brand online revenues were up 9 percent.
"In line with our online strategy, and given continued weak high street footfall, we have today commenced a consultation process with colleagues over the future of our small store estate", said Angela Spindler, N Brown chief executive.
In N Brown's worldwide markets, revenue was down 8%, and down 5.2% in constant currency terms, while revenues from Ireland were flat, or down 3.2% in constant currency terms, again driven by a reduction in offline recruitment activity.
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N Brown said shopper numbers at the stores had been "very disappointing".
JD Williams' sales fell 2%, while Simply Be and Jacamo's sales rose by 9.3% and 2% respectively.
For example, it re-launched its JD Williams brand, a department store concept offering style for customers over the age of 45. Against this backdrop and a double-digit comparative in product revenue, I am satisfied with our Q1 performance.
"We continue at pace our journey to become a global online retailer". 'Should the decision be taken to close all 20 stores, we anticipate an exceptional cost of £18m to £22m, of which approximately half will be in cash'. "This will underpin our future growth, both in the United Kingdom and internationally", CEO Angela Spindler said.
"We view N Brown as being in good shape and well positioned to drive medium term growth through its online, specialist fit model".