• Original Factory Shopreports 2.5% like-for-like increase in Christmas sales
  • Online sales soared 226%
  • Womenswear sales up 19.7%, aided by 16 new stores


The Original Factory Shop has reported a 2.5% increase in like-for-like revenue over Christmas, as online sales soared 226%.

The value department store said it did not discount before Christmas and as a result maintained its gross margins, although it did not disclose figures.

In the five weeks to January 3, The Original Factory Shop total sales were up 7.5% to £30.2m, including £1.7m from 16 new stores. The growth was fuelled by a 19.7% rise in womenswear sales and 16.6% growth in beauty products. Overall clothing sales advanced 4.5%.

The Original Factory Shop chief executive Tony Page said: “We are delighted that our dedication to providing genuine branded bargains all-year-round has been recognised by our customers once again, reflected in our strong trading across stores and online. This formula provides a robust platform for future profitable growth.”

He added that the retailer had achieved record mystery shopper scores in December and that it planned to expand its store portfolio and continue to develop its online proposition.

Expansion strategy

The Original Factory Shop agreed a £35m banking facility last summer to fund plans to triple its store estate from 200 to 600 stores. The retailer plans to open around 15 new stores each year in the short term.

Its three-year strategic plan got off to a strong start as it recorded a surge in full-year profits last August. Pre-exceptional EBITDA increased 50% year on year to £14.2m for the year ending March 31 as sales increased 7.1% to £208m.

Original Factory Shop appointed a new chief financial officer, former JD Sports Group commercial director Dave Williams, and a new commercial director, Tim Bettley, formerly at supermarket giant Morrisons, late last year.