Online shopping gives House of Fraser Christmas boost

House of Fraser has reported a record Christmas trading period, with online sales representing a significant part of the growth.

In the six weeks to 3 January 2015, the department store chain said that online sales were up 31.2 percent, while bricks and mortar sales increased 4.2 percent.

The Christmas period started in the week of Black Friday, at the end of November. House of Fraser said that online sales on the US-inspired discount day were up over 125 percent on the previous year, and nearly 70 percent higher than the company’s previous largest online sales day.

In a trading update yesterday, John Lewis suggested that the highs of Black Friday were detrimental to the Christmas trading peak that retailers usually expect to see, and questioned whether UK firms should continue following the American tradition.

However, House of Fraser did not appear to have any reservations about the shopping phenomenon. It reported strong sales throughout the six weeks, with “record” seven days before Christmas.

John King, CEO of House of Fraser, said: “This year we saw a very strong start to the key Christmas season with Black Friday being particularly successful. This positive momentum continued over the entire critical selling period with a record sales level during the final week before Christmas.”

He also gave a nod to the “online proposition”, which includes the increasingly popular click and collect service. Many retailers are adopting this channel to bridge the gap between online shopping and shopping in store.

“We will continue to invest in our online proposition,” King said, “and as a result we expect to continue to see sales growth from this channel.”

John Lewis said yesterday that its omni-channel service Click & collect “broke records” over the Christmas period.

However, the amount of revenue the retailer made in the week had fallen by £1.74 million (1.4 percent) from £127.98 million in 2013 to £126.24 million in 2014.

Image credit: House of Fraser press

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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