Selfridges has had yet another good year with the luxury department stores operator turning in record results for the 12 months to January.
Being a privately-held company, the results are short on detail, but they underline the strength of UK luxury retail in recent periods as the pound’s weakness has driven a tourist spending boom.
So, back with the firm’s record figures, that record didn’t just mean sales and profits up by a few percentage points. Instead, sales rose a hefty 16% (or over £200 million) to reach £1.6 billion, and the company reported a record £180 million in operating profit, up 18% on the previous year.
The business has invested heavily to achieve this impressive performance. It is currently three years into a £300 million capex programme which will transform its London store and digital capabilities. The first results from this have clearly driven the record performance and it has seen strong growth from its investment in Selfridges.com and the opening of the first phase of its new Accessories Hall.
The second phase of the accessories strategy opens next month and the third next summer with the company saying that the completed offer will make it the largest destination for luxury accessories in the world.
But back with its latest financial year, the firm said its website enjoyed above-expectations growth as its offer resonated in the 130 countries in which it’s available.
And while the London flagship was a key focus, its regional locations weren’t neglected with the company continuing to develop its stores in Birmingham and Manchester. It gave them revamped destinations across accessories, beauty and fashion.
Selfridges Group MD Paul Kelly described the results as “excellent” and said they were “achieved by the success of our long-term planning and implementation of an ambitious programme of capital expenditure across all channels and stores. This programme supports our drive to remain at the forefront of global luxury retailing”.
And Selfridges brand MD Anne Pitcher added: “In 2016 we saw fantastic growth across all categories with increased traffic to both our stores and Selfridges.com. Our success story for last year came from our driving ambition to be creative and courageous, offering customers extraordinary experiences and destinations.”