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Mosaic Brands to reopen stores in slow second half

Mosaic Brands will be progressively reopening its circa 1400 stores pending satisfactory discussions with landlords, after announcing it expects to report an EBITDA loss for the year.

Due to the decline in footfall caused by March’s lockdown pressures, as well as the closure of stores for the past six weeks, Mosaic’s second half earnings are expected to fall below the $32 million EBITDA earned in the first half of FY20. 

On Thursday the business said it had conducted trial openings in the past week to test the bricks and mortar market, and as such has been able to gain insights into the changes in consumer shopping habits, store revenue and foot traffic. 

Mosaic hopes to speak to landlords about these insights, and find an agreeable way to reopen all of its stores under “appropriate commercial terms”, and where it can provide a safe and improved shopping experience for customers. 

“Stores will only be reopened where satisfactory commercial terms are agreed with the landlord,” the business said in a statement. 

Mosaic closed stores and stood down 6800 staff members across Noni B, Millers, Rockmans, Rivers, Katies, Autograph, W.Lane, Crossroads, and Beme in late March.

Though while the group’s stores remained shuttered, its online presence boomed, growing 80 per cent over the six weeks to 8 May compared to the prior year. 

“This performance reflects substantial work during this challenging time to accelerate the company’s strategy to expand the range of products offered and grow customer acquisition,” the business said. 

During this time, the group added over 100,000 new items and 20 categories to the website.

While FY20 is expected to end in a net loss, the company anticipates a return to profit in FY21, as the impact of COVID-19 wanes. 

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