Selfridges’ Oxford Street flagship has bucked the retail trend by recording a sales increase of 10% excluding VAT in the year so far.
First-half profits at the four-shop department store chain are also understood to have risen by a double-digit percentage.
Selfridges Group chief executive Paul Kelly said: “Unless the world turns upside down in the second half it will be a good year.” The strong performance has come in spite of flat sales at the three regional stores in Birmingham, the Trafford Centre and Manchester, which has been undergoing a major refurbishment, and disruption caused at all its stores by the riots in August.
Kelly attributed Selfridges’ success to creating excitement in stores with the introduction of brands, ranging from new areas for premium brands such as Tom Ford, Bottega Veneta and Dior to the first ever H&M concession and the first UK concession for H&M’s quirky girls brand Monki, plus events such as Project Ocean.
“We’re creating reasons for people to come and shop,” Kelly said. He said that while the Oxford Street store was not directly affected by the riots, all its stores saw evening trade “disappear” in the week the trouble took place.
Selfridges’ strong performance contrasts with some of its department store rivals. Last week John Lewis announced a 54% fall in pre-tax profits.
- Selfridges has appointed former Marks & Spencer food executive Nicola Waller as head of food buying and merchandising. Headhunter Anthony Gregg Partnership placed Waller in her new role.