Harvey Nichols is putting an “aggressive refurbishment” in place following a 30% fall in profits last year.
As the slowdown in China developed and the luxury market continued to face pressure, the upmarket department store saw pre-tax profits drop to £6.3m in the year to 28 March 2015.
A revamp of the flagship Knightsbridge store started in 2015 and it is understood that the department store retailer will complete an overhaul of the ground floor, including beauty and accessories, by Christmas 2016.
“We anticipate that the trading climate for luxury retail will continue to be uncertain and as such retailers need to work even harder to stand out and deliver a strong, differentiated and compelling customer proposition,” the company said.
Separate accounts for the store in Knightsbridge show that sales slid 2.4% to £92.5m while online sales grew by nearly 27%, to £11.1m.
Investments into updating and maintaining stores set Harvey Nichols back £6m. Last year its Birmingham store was given a luxury make over in a bid to offer customers a five-star hotel-like experience. In the same year the company abandoned a site Azerbaijan just four months after opening.
Last year was Chief Exec Stacey Cartwright‘s first at Harvey Nichols. Prior to this she was the Finance Director of Burberry, a brand she was with for 9 years and is credited for boosting sales.
“I am pleased to report that Harvey Nichols has maintained its top line financial performance for 2014-15 against a backdrop of an increasingly challenging external environment,” said Cartwright.
We are well advanced now on our exciting journey to revitalise the Harvey Nichols brand with a significant investment programme in technology, our physical stores, our digital channel and in our people to create a differentiated and compelling customer offer for Harvey Nichols.”