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Scene is set for another challenging chapter in the colourful tale of Quiz

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This morning the company reported a “strong recovery” during the year to March with a pre-tax profit of £2.3m, but this was tinged by the news that sales have slid more recently. Revenues were down 15% in the three months to the end of June as the company ran up against tough comparatives from the previous year and “inflationary pressures on consumer demand”.

The Herald: Tarak RamzanTarak Ramzan (Image: Quiz)

The economic backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis certainly isn’t ideal for firms such as Quiz which rely on consumers’ discretionary spending, but then again the tenacious Mr Ramzan has proven track record in navigating difficult circumstances.

Originally set up in 1993, Quiz went into administration in 2009 as the high street climate deteriorated in the wake of the banking crisis. Mr Ramzan and his family immediately bought back the vast bulk of the business through a pre-packaged deal.

The company was forced to crack down on its ethical code of practice in 2020, suspending one of its suppliers amid a probe into allegations of exploitation of workers in Leicester

As part of a highly-publicised investigation into the pay and conditions of garment workers in Leicester, an undercover journalist was reportedly offered just £3 per hour to make clothing for Quiz. The national minimum wage for workers aged 25 and over at that time was £8.72 per hour.

READ MORE: Glasgow Quiz Clothing ‘vindicated’ in new results

Lockdowns during the Covid pandemic quickly created further obvious challenges as Quiz, which deals mainly in occasion and dressy wear for a younger audience, suffered a slump in sales and a pre-tax loss of £9.6m for the year to March 2021.

This triggered the administration of Kast, the Quiz subsidiary in charge of the company’s physical store estate. The administration led to the immediate closure of 11 stores and 93 job losses, with Kast’s stock and some assets sold in a pre-pack deal to Zandra, another Quiz subsidiary, for £1.3m in cash.

Many of the difficulties that have beset Quiz over the years have been industry-wide issues to which others have succumbed. It will be interesting to see how this next chapter in the history of Quiz unfolds.

 

 

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