Dress-seller Quiz has said that it expects celebrations when pandemic restrictions are slowly eased will boost demand for its products.

The womenswear company said that its ranges have normally proved popular during social events and celebrations, which have been in short supply over the past year.

The Quiz Westfield Stratford store
The Quiz Westfield Stratford store (PA)

While other retailers have been able to rely on online sales to make up for some of what they lost when clothes stores closed, Quiz said that it had seen a 42% drop in online sales in the year ending March 31.

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Yet, with in-shop sales collapsing, Quiz’s online business made up more than half of the company’s total revenue over the year, which reached just £39.7 million, down by two thirds.

“Brighter days are coming,” Quiz is telling customers on its website, and the company said that reopening of shops and easing of restrictions will help it regain ground.

“With prolonged periods of store closures, the past 12 months has been a very challenging period for many in the UK retail sector, and Quiz has not been immune to this,” said chief executive Tarak Ramzan.

Last year Quiz announced plans to put its 82 UK and Ireland shops into administration before buying them back in a bid to lower rents. The move was reported at the time to cost just under 100 jobs.

An extra hurdle was placed in front of the company when Debenhams went into administration.

It has 72 concessions in the department store in England and Wales, and these will close by the end of May. Its revenue from Debenhams UK across the 12 months was only £3.4million, down from £16.5million a year earlier. It made £5.5million selling products through the Debenhams website, a practice that ended two weeks ago.

“We remain confident that there is robust underlying demand from our customers for the Quiz brand and our trademark dressy and occasionwear,” Mr Ramzan said.

“We are looking forward to being able to serve customers again through our store estate and to the gradual opening up of the retail and leisure economies over the coming months, which we believe we are well placed to benefit from.”