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Burberry, Shop Direct, Supergroup and Ocado: Christmas trading figures

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Traders from Shop Direct and SuperGroup to Ocado and Burberry today reported fast growth over the Christmas period.

Shop Direct said Black Friday 2014 had been its “busiest trading day on record.” Orders at its flagship website were up by 134%, compared to the equivalent day last year, while demand across its brands surpassed its previous daily trading record – set on Cyber Monday 2013 – by 51%.

Overall, sales in the seven weeks to December 26 were 4% up on the same time last year, with sales at up by 23%. Meanwhile, sales at and fell by 11% in what Shop Direct described as “profitably managed decline.”

Some 89% of sales took place over digital, with mobile sales up by 45% to represent 56% of all online sales.

Alex Baldock, Shop Direct group chief executive, said: “It was another record Christmas at Shop Direct and once again led the charge.

“We continue to capitalise on the shift to mobile. Our customers shopped on the go this Christmas and our new app will make this even easier for them.

“We like Black Friday. It was huge for us and acted as a starting gun for Christmas shopping – peak came earlier than in recent years. Traders like ourselves will thrive in the environment that Black Friday creates and we’re happy that it’s here to stay.

“The highly promotional market looks set to continue into 2015. We’ll continue to make sure we’re offering customers great deals while maintaining sales and profit growth.”

SuperGroup, which operates the SuperDry brand, reported a standout performance from ecommerce as total sales grew by 17.8% in the 11 weeks to January 10. Like-for-like sales, which strips out the effect of store openings and closures, were up by 12.4%. The company said it expected to report a profit of between £60m and £65m in its still-ongoing full year. It said customers’ growing confidence in delivery meant many chose to buy online.

“Our upgraded infrastructure was tested to the full by Black Friday and in the busy lead up to Christmas has proven to be resilient and effective,” said chief executive Euan Sutherland. “A record performance from ecommerce combined with strong store operations led to what became a truly multichannel Christmas.”

Meanwhile, Burberry reported retail revenue of £604m in the three months to December 31, a 15% rise in underlying sales compared to the same time last year. Like-for-like sales were up by 8%, with double digit growth in the Americas and Europe but low single-digit growth in Asia. It said digital had outperformed in all regions.

Christopher Bailey, chief creative and executive officer, said: “We’re pleased to report a strong performance over this important period, during which our teams worked tirelessly to bring the very best of the brand to the customer in our stores and online. Fifteen per cent underlying growth in retail sales reflects this commitment to every element of the customer experience, from product to marketing to service.”

Finally, online grocer Ocado reported gross retail sales 14.8% up in December. Chief executive Tim Steiner described growth as “solid”. He said: “On our biggest day leading up to Christmas, sales were nearly £6m, up over 15% on the previous year. In the seven days to Christmas, our CFCs processed nearly 40% more items for and than over the same period last year, demonstrating the capabilities of our facilities.”

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