Increased investment in repositioning widens losses

Iconic London department store Liberty has widened its losses following an increased investment to reposition itself as a global luxury goods retailer.

The retailer's pre-tax losses widened to£2.2 million for the six months to June 30, against£1.6 million for the same period last year, following a brand investment of£1.6 million. Revenues climbed£500,000 to£20.5 million.

Sales at its flagship Great Marlborough Street store in London's West End were up 1.9 per cent to£16.5 million. The performance was driven by menswear, sales of which rocketed 28 per cent to£2.1 million. Accessories sales rose 7 per cent to£3.5 million and its own-label luxury accessories brand Liberty of London posted a 23 per cent uplift to£1.2 million.

However, womenswear sales slumped 4 per cent to£3.9 million and homewares sales slid 3 per cent to£4.2 million.

The retailer will open a standalone store devoted to Liberty of London in spring next year on London’s Sloane Street, as revealed by Retail Week last week.

Liberty chairman Richard Balfour-Lynn said the retailer is on track to becoming a global luxury brand, aided by a management restructure that included the appointment of former Christian Lacroix president Geoffroy De la Bourdonnaye as chief executive.

Balfour-Lynn said: “Our objective over the next 12 months is to firmly establish this framework, enabling Liberty, which will be led by the Liberty of London brand, to become a byword for luxury retailing.”