Premier Retail will close four stores in Sydney's Mid-City Arcade, after it was unable to reach a rental agreement with the landlords, the business has revealed in a trading update. 

The Peter Alexander, Smiggle and Portmans stores will close in March 2022, while the Just Jeans store will close no later than July 2023. 

"These closures demonstrate the Group’s previously announced intention to walk away from stores where landlords seek rents which are unrealistic and which do not reflect the market, particularly in those centres where customer foot traffic has been decimated by the pandemic," Premier Retail said in a statement. 

By September 2021, Premier had closed 46 stores in the 12 months prior, demonstrating its focus on profitable stores. 

Alongside this announcement, Premier Retail updated the market on its performance during the first half of FY22. 

According to the update, Premier Retail's total global sales lifted 0.5% to $769 million in the period. 

Additionally, It's digital sales continue to deliver strong results, with Premier Retail reporting a 27% increase in online sales to $195 million. 

The eCommerce sales made up 25% of total sales during the half. 

The business cited a rebound in its Smiggle business as kids returned to school, as well as continued strength in Peter Alexander and Portmans for its performance in the half. 

Premier Retail CEO Richard Murray added that the Group's local distribution capabilities also contributed to its performance. 

"Premier Retail has delivered another strong result despite the volatile trading environment.

"1H22 remained challenging as businesses and consumers navigated their way through prolonged government mandated lockdowns.

"The Group has weathered the numerous logistical challenges during the half through meticulous planning and by taking full advantage of Premier’s owned Australian distribution centre.

"Reviews of the Group’s distribution centre capabilities in both Australia and New Zealand continue as part of a long-term strategy to meet ongoing demand as customers change their shopping behaviour in the wake of COVID-19," he said. 

The business now expects Premier Retail's 1H22 EBIT to be in the range of $209.5 million to $211.5 million.

Premier is set to release its 1H22 results in late March 2022.

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