// Selfridges boss Anne Pitcher said profits dropped in the year to February 2020
// The luxury department store has fought through the “most difficult year”
// Pitcher estimates that footfall to its four city stores would remain low for rest of the year
Selfridges has reportedly endured the “most difficult year” in its 113-year history after profits dropped despite continually investing in online.
Managing director Anne Pitcher said the success of the business in 2019 “allowed us to be so resilient in 2020”, with online sales partly offsetting store closures, The Times reported.
In the year to February 2020, the luxury department store posted a 10 per cent drop in operating profits year on year to £88 million, while sales increased by seven per cent to £1.97 billion.
During that time, Selfridges opened a toy store and a cinema in its Oxford Street store and refurbished its accessories hall at Manchester Trafford.
Annual pre-tax profits fell by two thirds to £34 million from £98 million partly because of new accounting rules of leases.
Pitcher said that she believed that footfall to its four city stores would remain at low levels for the rest of the year as it relied on people returning to work and travel resuming.
City centres, particularly London’s West End, have been affected by a lack of footfall in the last year with international and domestic tourists, as well as office workers, avoiding such areas in the wake of Covid-19.