N Brown Group, the predominantly home shopping retailer, said furniture was a star performer in an otherwise challenging first quarter that ended with it considering jettisoning its physical stores business.

The Manchester based owner of the JD Williams and Jacomo brands said furniture and outdoor living delivered "a particularly strong performance" as overall home and gift product sales grew 0.8 percent in the 13 weeks to June 2.

Its home uplift compared with declines across its other, fashion-led categories, with mid single-digit percentage falls in all of menswear, ladieswear and footwear.

Its best performing area was its financial services business, up 9.0 percent against its first quarter of 2017–18.

N Brown also announced plans to consider the closure of its circa 20-store chain of physical stores, which generates around £15 million in sales, equivalent to 2 percent of group revenue.