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Fortnum & Mason sees record Christmas sales

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Designer department store Fortnum & Mason has today reported a 17.3 per cent rise in sales in December, the highest level in any month in the retailer’s 305-year history.

In the four weeks to the end of December, the West End store served eight per cent more customers than the same period in 2011 as takings jumped 13.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, online sales also soared over the period, up 45 per cent on the same period last year as the retailer continues to invest in its multichannel operations.

Similarly, the retailer has invested over £3 million in new warehousing and delivery systems as it seeks to strengthen its supply chain, and this commitment allowed its festive hampers to arrive to customers in time for Christmas.

Fortnum & Mason’s CEO Ewan Venters said of the results: “We had a splendid Christmas – the best in our long history for sales but also in terms of the atmosphere in store which is a huge tribute to the effort of all the team.

“Our online business is growing rapidly but the performance of the iconic store underlines its position as a destination.”

Sales of advent calendars, Christmas tea towels and festive biscuits rocketed 113 per cent, 119 per cent and 109 per cent respectively, highlighting the broad range of products available from the retailer widely known as “the Queen’s grocer”.

In March last year, the Queen officially opened the refurbished Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon and was accompanied by the Duchesses of Cornwall and Cambridge and Fortnum & Mason noted that this helped boost sales around the event and beyond.

Venters explained: “The Queen’s Jubilee was a wonderful celebration which directly helped attract more visitors to the store, and we are benefiting from the halo effect from the Olympics, which reinforced London’s position on the world stage.

“Our Christmas trading crowned a very successful year for Fortnum’s and we expect to build on that throughout 2013.”

Published on Friday 11 January by Editorial Assistant

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