Country Road has joined the long list of retailers reporting a contraction in their sales.

The fashion retailer’s Australasian sales fell 2.6 per cent with like-for-like sales down 6.9 per cent.

However, the company’s total sales did grow by 1.8 per cent on last year to $419 million.

During the year, Country Road opened two retail stores and one concession store in Australia and two retail stores and three concession stores in South Africa. It also closed two retail stores, three clearance stores and eight concession stores.

Howard Goldberg, Country Road CEO, said in a highly competitive retail environment, it was necessary to reduce the level of discounting in order to improve margins.

“We have closed unprofitable stores including a number of clearance stores. We continue to focus on delighting our customers through better product and an enhanced digital and in-store experience,” he said.

“Our digital strategy is a growth area and the online sales have grown strongly and exceeded our expectations. In the short term, we expect retail conditions to remain challenging and our outlook remains conservative.”