1/15/2009 11:18:00 AM
JAG Communications set for more store closures
JAG Communications, the country’s third largest independent mobile retail chain, expects to make a raft of store closures in the coming months.
Managing director and owner John George said the worst case scenario ?was reducing its store estate by 20%.
‘If things continue to perform the way people are saying things will, it will make things very difficult, and removing poor performing stores will be the right thing for the business,’ said George. JAG already closed eight stores in November 2008 in light of tough trading.
George said: ‘At this point, I see us scaling back. I really don’t see us opening any stores. Being static [with the number of stores] would be a great achievement in the current conditions.’
His comments come as JAG’s sales for December were 12% higher than the previous year. He said January had started very slowly, and added: ‘Trading is good, but the conditions in terms of dealing with banks is pretty horrible.’
JAG has over 75 stores, predominantly in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wales, where for many years it has operated without much serious competition.
George said: ‘What will also affect us is if someone [a bigger retail chain or network stores] come in next door to us and undercut us.’
The areas JAG operates in is characterised for relatively low volume, but leases are much cheaper than other parts of the country.