Photographic retailer Jessops has today reported a three per cent total sales increase to £236.8m for the 52 weeks up to January 1st 2012.
While the digital camera market saw a decline of seven per cent, the retailer reported a 1.3 per cent rise in like-for-like sales over the period.
The company described 2011 as “a difficult year” following the Japanese tsunami and Thai floods which proved hugely detrimental to its supply chain, although it appears to have ridden the storm well to see a margin improvement due to strong cost control and excellent EBITDA growth of £1.7m to £5.7m in 2011.
Steady 13 month growth in the sector has been attributed to investment in staff training and ongoing expansion following six new store openings and 20 store refurbishments in the last year alone.
Refurbishment has also driven sales, up a 20 per cent on pre-facelift figures. Trevor Moore, CEO of Jessops commented: “2011 was a difficult year for retailers and 2012 is expected to remain challenging.
“Jessops will continue to develop its knowledge and service based proposition by investing in its people.
“We will work to optimise our store portfolio and invest in a further 25 store refurbishments. “
Aside from continued store improvements, the business’s online offering has proved the biggest factor in its recent growth as web-based sales grew 79 per cent following 100 per cent growth in 2011.
These transactions now account for 32 per cent of total business with 70 per cent of online customers choosing to collect their products in store.
Moore explained that this success has brought a firm focus on further developing its multichannel presence.
“The online platform will be evolved to include a new mobile and integrated photo platform,” he explained.
“Jessops will continue to work closely in partnership with its suppliers to present new technology and innovation to the market with the aim of being the best channel to market for our suppliers and the first choice destination for all our customers imaging needs.
“We remain cautiously optimistic in the outlook for 2012.”