Quiz says Cowgill to lead ‘review of strategic options’

Quiz chairman Peter Cowgill

Shares of struggling Glasgow-based fashion firm Quiz plc fell another 20% after it announced a “review of strategic options” to be led by non-executive chairman Peter Cowgill “to evaluate options to maximise shareholder value.”

Cowgill is former executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion.

Quiz shares fell as much as 20% to around 5.5p. The shares have fallen more than 60% in 2023, reducing the stock market value of Quiz to just £7 million.

News of the strategic review came as the firm said its revenues fell 14% to £42.3 million in the six months ended September 30, 2023, “reflecting challenging prior year comparatives as well as inflationary pressures impacting consumer demand.”

Quiz reported a loss before tax of £1.5 million for the period.

“The board remains confident that Quiz’s brand is differentiated, and the group’s omni-channel business model remains relevant,” said the company.

“However, given the group’s recent trading performance, the board has decided to immediately initiate a thorough review of the strategic options available to the group to maximise shareholder value.

“This process is being led by the company’s independent chairman, Peter Cowgill, supported by the company’s retained advisor, Panmure Gordon.”

In its “outlook and current trading” Quiz said its sales for the two months to November 30, 2023, including the Black Friday sales period, totalled £14.1 million (2023: £16.0 million), behind management expectations.

“Notwithstanding that the remainder of Quiz’s important Christmas trading and January sales periods are still to come, given the shortfall in demand experienced in recent months and the potential for macro pressures continuing to impact consumer demand, the board anticipates that full year revenues will be approximately 6-8% lower than current market expectations,” said the Glasgow firm.

Quiz CEO Tarak Ramzan said: “This has been a challenging period for many retailers, and we have not been immune to the widely publicised macro headwinds impacting consumer demand.

“Notwithstanding the ongoing pressure on consumers, we have continued to focus on taking the right decisions for our long-term future, including prioritising protecting full-price sales and carefully managing our store portfolio.

“I remain confident that Quiz remains a strong, distinctive brand known for providing glamorous looks at good value prices.

“However, given the prolonged period of challenging trading we believe it is prudent to examine a range of options to maximise shareholder value.”