House of Fraser – owner of Edinburgh’s historic Jenners department store – yesterday posted a hike in half-year earnings, but said sales were hit amid the washout August weather.
The group saw like-for-like sales growth slow since a robust first half as the retail sector suffered during last month’s disappointing end to the summer.
Sales have bounced back in September, but overall growth has still slowed from 6.5 per cent in the first 26 weeks to 5.3 per cent in the 33 weeks so far, according to the group.
But HoF, which has some 60 stores across the UK and Ireland, said it remained hopeful of a “successful autumn/winter season”.
Underlying earnings in the half-year rose 7 per cent to £9.2 million, with online sales proving the star performer after jumping 30.8 per cent in the six months to 1 August.
The group has boosted its online offering after extending its buy and collect deadline to midnight for pick-up the next day. It has also increased ranges by adding concession partners such as Victoria Beckham Jeans, as well Rugby World Cup branded products.