NOT unlike many other high-street retailers, the Quiz fashion chain has found itself in the doldrums as hard-pressed shoppers rein in expenditure and spend less on discretionary purchases amid the current cost of living crisis.

Established back in 1993 by Scottish entrepreneur Tarak Ramzan, Quiz built its reputation of so-called “fast fashion”, offering affordable occasion, party and dressy wear for the younger crowd.

It’s a strategy that worked as the company debuted on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim) in 2017 with a flotation value of £200 million then elevated the Ramzan family to the ranks of Scotland’s richest after selling a combined £92m stake in the business.

The announcement that its founder and chief executive Tarak Ramzan is to step down as part of a boardroom shake-up that will see its non-executive chairman Peter Cowgill take a more active role in driving the business forward shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, however.

Quiz warns of losses as inflationary crisis cuts into sales

Mr Ramzan is in his seventies and it makes sense that now is the time for his son, Sheraz, to move up from the chief commercial officer’s role to that of chief executive to “recalibrate the brand, its product offering, and reconnect with consumers with the aim of moving the business back into profitable growth”.

Working alongside Quiz’s highly-regarded non-executive chairman Peter Cowgill, Sheraz Ramzan must now prove himself capable of doing just that. But with Mr Cowgill’s 30-plus years’ experience in the UK retail sector to tap into, the cards are stacked in his favour and Mr Ramzan can take comfort that the man who was instrumental in driving the JD Sports chain’s international expansion and helped it build a successful online business is in his team.

Mr Cowgill fully recognises that “the UK apparel market has undergone significant well-reported changes since Quiz’s IPO in 2017 and it continues to evolve at pace” – but, notably, he talks of the board changes at the company providing an opportunity for a “fresh vision and new leadership approach”.

Quiz’s new omni-channel retail platform has not yet been fully implemented but the business has said that this will “allow for an improved omni-channel experience for customers and help maximise revenues and optimise the management of stock across the Quiz business”.

Fashion chain Quiz gets set for the next challenge

The Glasgow-based retailer still has to navigate some challenging headwinds, however. Sales have taken a significant dip but Quiz said: “The group is taking a number of positive steps to counter the impact of the declining revenues including targeting cost savings for the forthcoming year, eliminating loss making activities, reviewing operational efficiencies and optimising its product offer.”

It is also buoyed by the recent increase in demand for its wares in international markets, which accounts for over 10% of revenue, notable Saudi Arabia where it has entered a franchise partnership with the Al Othaim Group. And Quiz pointed to a “positive uplift in demand from our partners in the United States as this business becomes more established”.