N Brown boss Angela Spindler put its Christmas like-for-like increase down to its strength in translating key fashion trends for the plus-size market.
Spindler said that party dresses and novelty Christmas jumpers were the plus-size group’s top sellers as it successfully translated the season’s must-have items for its market.
She said: “We took £50m on party dresses and 50% of what we sold was size 20-plus. We’ve set out to be the place to be for party dresses. We’re really bringing current trends to the plus-size market.”
Spindler also said it sold £2m of novelty jumpers, with 55% of the men’s version sold in size 52” and above.
N Brown like-for-likes jumped 7.2% in the six weeks to January 11 driven by its younger brands Simply Be and Jacamo.
Spindler said it had benefitted from the extra marketing budget it had invested in new customer acquisition.
Its older brands had also profited from the “tablet revolution”. She said more than half of traffic from older customers now comes from a mobile device.
Spindler said that there was an “unprecedented level of discounting” this Christmas, which she in part put down to the unseasonably warm October leaving lots of surplus stock.
N Brown had planned to do fewer promotions than last year but ended up doing the same.
She said: “I think the industry as a whole tries to out promote the competition. Everyone is trying to get the attention of the customers and increasingly its coming down to deals and promotions.
“If you bought heavily into seasonal lines, the best way to sell them is when the footfall is high in the run-up to Christmas. Great stock management is the key to holding your nerve [on discounting].”