Selfridges, the high end department store, yesterday reported a significant increase in sales and profits during its 10th year of ownership under Galen Weston and family.
The luxe department chain, which has something of a landmark flagship store on London’s busy Oxford Street as well as branches in Birmingham and Manchester, saw sales rise in the 2013 fiscal year to £1.2bn – a 10.4% increase compared to the previous year. Operating profits increased 12.3% to £150m, the highest in its 105 years of trade, as the store continues to push into the luxury market.
Selfridges said it continued to see year-on-year growth in all retail channels. This includes its online business, particularly international sales, after the launch of international delivery to more than 60 countries last August.
Annie Pitcher, Managing Director of Selfridges UK, said there had been significant growth in online takings and international spending during the period, and added that she was cautiously optimistic about the prospects for this Christmas, saying:
“Really, the story is that strong domestic growth is helping offset a slowdown in that extremely high rate of growth in international spending.”
Chairman Galen Weston, who took Selfridges private in 2003, said he was pleased with the progress it had made since then.
Group Managing Director Paul Kelly commented:
“Selfridges UK has delivered another strong year of progress. Despite challenging trading conditions we are accelerating our investment and continuing our £300million redevelopment programme of our Oxford Street store.”
The department store will likely accelerate given its £400m investment in its multi-channel strategy and a planned refurb of the London branch. Selfridges has commissioned David Chipperfield Architects to redesign some of the 540, 000 sq ft Oxford Street store including the Duke Street entrance. This comes as part of a £300m redevelopment that started in June and is estimated for completion in 2019. Shoppers can expect to see a luxury accessories department double the size of what it is currently – likely the world’s largest range of accessories for both men and women.
According to Selfridges, the revamp is “the highest level of investment ever for a single project in a department store anywhere in the world”.