House of Fraser cheered by festive trading

The House of Fraser store in Edinburgh. Picture: Neil Hanna
The House of Fraser store in Edinburgh. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Department store chain House of Fraser today reported a “very strong” performance for the key festive season.

The retailer – owner of Edinburgh’s iconic Jenners store – said like-for-like sales for the six weeks to 2 January grew 5.3 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.

Total takings on “Black Friday” in the run-up to Christmas jumped 10 per cent on the previous year and represented the group’s biggest ever day for online sales – up more than 40 per cent.

READ MORE: House of Fraser profits on the rise

House of Fraser also said the momentum had continued in the week after Christmas, with like-for-like sales growing 6.8 per cent.

Chief executive Nigel Oddy said: “We are delighted with our Christmas trading performance both in terms of sales growth and margin improvement.

“This year, we saw a very strong start to the key Christmas season with Black Friday being particularly strong online, with sales up 40 per cent on the year – our biggest online day ever. Our stores have also performed well over the festive period, in particular our recently refurbished stores, which showed strong growth in the final week before Christmas.”

In 2014, Chinese conglomerate Sanpower bought a majority stake in House of Fraser – which has its origins as a small drapery in Glasgow – in a deal that valued the chain at £480 million.

Its performance over the crucial festive trading period was in sharp contrast to the 5.8 per cent slide in like-for-like general merchandise sales reported by rival Marks & Spencer for the 13 weeks to 26 December.

READ MORE: M&S boss Marc Bolland to retire as clothing sales fall

Adding to the gloomy mood on the high street, fashion retailer Next last week revealed a shock 0.5 per cent fall in sales across its 540 UK stores during the two months to Christmas Eve.