The boss of country casuals brand Joules said he was encouraged by trading over the summer months as the business fought back from the first lockdown.
But he said there were still big doubts about how the peak Christmas trading period would pan out amid growing concerns over the pandemic for the group which has 12 stores in Scotland.
Chief executive Nick Jones was speaking ahead of the group’s Wednesday agm as new figures showed the business turned over £39.6m in the three months to 30 June, ahead of expectations.
The lifestyle clothing and homewares brand saw online sales rise 63% year-on-year for the period.
However total revenues were down 18% as a result of its own stores – and shops where it has concessions – being closed for much of the period.
Shares in the business were up 6% per cent at 97p earlier today.
Jones said: “We are encouraged by the group’s performance in the first quarter of the financial year with sales ahead of our expectations.
“This is testament to the flexibility of the Joules model and the increasing strength, relevance and awareness of the Joules brand.
“The group’s strong e-commerce performance demonstrates the appeal of Joules as well as our growing customer base and we continue to be very encouraged by the performance of our Friends of Joules digital marketplace.
“In addition, we have been pleased with the performance of our stores since re-opening with higher levels of conversion when compared to pre-lockdown and steadily improving footfall trends.
“As with all consumer-facing businesses we face challenging trading conditions and unprecedented levels of uncertainty over the coming months and into the peak Christmas trading season.
“Against this backdrop we remain cautious on the future trading outlook and will continue to tightly manage costs and conserve cash.
“Notwithstanding this, we remain confident that – underpinned by the strength and relevance of our brand – Joules remains well positioned to continue to adapt to changing consumer behaviours.”