Department store House of Fraser (HOF) has reported its best ever Christmas sales, with like-for-like (LFL) sales leaping 6.3 per cent, according to figures released today.
In the six weeks to January 5th 2013, all categories saw sales increases, with fashion and beauty performing especially well.
Online sales soared 48 per cent over the period while overall, the retailer reported record sales in the fortnight before Christmas as consumers favoured the pre-Christmas rush over January sales.
Last month, HOF announced a LFL sales boost of 5.3 per cent in the 13 weeks to October 27th 2012 thanks to its continued investment in its bricks and mortar operations and its multichannel offer and HOF Chairman Don McCarthy welcomed the latest figures.
“The positive sales trends experienced in our third quarter have continued throughout the festive period and we are pleased to report another record performance despite a more competitive environment,” McCarthy said.
“This performance demonstrates the success of our strategy to continuously improve our online proposition, develop both our House Brands and fashion credentials and invest in our stores to give our customer the best possible shopping experience.
“I would like to thank John King and his team, as well as our staff and brand partners for their hard work and support over this period.”
Sales growth has been driven by the popularity of the retailer’s branded offering while its concessions operations also fared well over the festive season, with house brands seeing a 10 per cent rise in sales.
For the initial 10 weeks of the fourth quarter, LFLs excluding VAT have grown 5.2 per cent and McCarthy feels that such results bring reasons to be positive for the year ahead.
He commented: “There is no doubt that 2012 was a challenging year in retail and it remains difficult to predict when economic conditions and consumer sentiment will improve.
“However, with the strong sales performance in the period and a close focus on margins and operational efficiencies, we expect to report growth in full year earnings in line with previous indications.
“Given the sales performance, we also expect to finish the year with a cleaner stock position and are well placed to deliver further growth in 2013.”