Outdoor retailer Blacks sees shares plummet
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Shares in Blacks Leisure plummeted 27% today after the outdoors retailer issued a profit warning citing the unseasonably warm autumn weather for enforcing Blacks and Millets stores to cut prices in recent weeks.

However that still hasn’t been enough to draw in cash-strapped punters during the economic downturn, and the group now expects its Christmas and full-year performance to fall below expectations.

Shares in Blacks initially tanked 60% but have recovered somewhat to stand 1.25p or 28% down at 3.12p.

Kate Calvert, retail analyst at Seymour Pierce,  said: ‘We believe it will remain a challenge to come up with an acceptable solution for the company's long-term future.’

The warm weather has sidetracked the traditional autumn switch from camping sales to winter outdoor wear and ski ranges.

Blacks reported a 7.2% decline in like-for-like sales in its half-year results, covering the 26 weeks to August 27 and today said conditions had worsened.

Julia Reynolds, who replaced Neil Gillis as chief executive over the summer, previously said its strategic plans would see greater investment focus on the existing store estate, with no net increase in store numbers planned.

The Millets and Blacks brands will be revamped to achieve greater differentiation between the two chains, with further development of own label and own brand merchandise.

The company said constructive dialogue had been maintained with the group's bankers, Bank of Scotland, who ‘continue to be supportive’.



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