• Jigsaw like-for-likes jump 13% in five weeks to January 2 
  • Total sales up 19% in the festive period
  • Online sales soared 31%

Fashion chain Jigsaw has reported strong Christmas trading despite the mild weather which has hampered other clothing retailers.

The retailer, which has 70 stores, said like-for-like sales soared 13% during the five weeks to January 2. Total sales rose 19% year on year and margins were up “significantly on the year”.

Jigsaw’s strategy of refusing to participate in Black Friday and not discounting merchandise until Boxing Day – unlike much of the high street which hoisted up the red Sale signs earlier on in the season due to the mild weather – paid off for the retailer.

Its physical stores recorded double-digit growth, while online sales soared 31% and mobile revenues surged 115% in the week of Christmas.

Bucking trends

Speaking to Retail Week, chief executive Peter Ruis put the fashion chain’s strong performance down to the company’s wider strategy rather than nailing the season’s trends.

“We’ve done a lot of things right for an extended period of time and we tend to reap the results at peak trading periods like Christmas.

“We’ve done a lot of things right for an extended period of time and we tend to reap the results at peak trading periods like Christmas”

Peter Ruis, Jigsaw

“In the last two years we’ve focused on taking this brand and making it more relevant. We’ve also started to work counter-intuitively to the rest of the industry and very confidently say we’ll be full-price all year-round apart from two Sales – that helps customer confidence.”

The company recorded strong sales of categories including womenswear knitwear and coats, and singled out wallets, keyrings, evening bags and luxury pyjamas as selling well.

Mobile performance

The key trend noted by Ruis during the period was the booming rise in mobile users. “The real trend was that people are using their mobiles and not pulling out their iPad.

“Instead they’re sneakily using their smartphone in the corner of the room [to shop].”

The company’s 115% spike in mobile sales stems purely from smartphones and does not include purchases made from tablets.

With international expansion and new UK stores on the horizon, Ruis said he remained quietly confident about 2016. “We have lots of things going on so hopefully it will be a strong year,” he added.

The results follow on from a stellar year for the upmarket retailer. In December, Jigsaw reported full-year sales of £104.9m in the year to October 3. Like-for-like sales jumped 12.3%.

Jigsaw is owned by founder John Robinson and 13 senior members of staff.