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FatFace unveils Christmas online sales 25% up on last year

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FatFace says multichannel services helped it to unveil Christmas ecommerce sales 25% up on the same time last year. But an 11% lift in first-half ecommerce sales failed to boost sales and profits, compared to the same time last year.

The UK multichannel lifestyle clothing brand says its multichannel services helped it to cater for later Christmas online ordering, delivering strong increases in in-store delivery. It also said it was vindicated in its decision not to discount in December as it benefitted from 10 strong days in the final pre-Christmas shopping season.

The retailer said December sales were 13% up on the same time last year, with like-for-like retail sales 5% ahead. Ecommerce sales underpinned that growth: sales in December were 25% up on last year, with sales rising by 113% in a record sales week. Click and collect orders peaked at 42% of total orders, and were 119% up on the same time last year. Mobile visits also rose during the month, with visits from tablets and smartphones accounting for 65% of all mobile devices – up from 55% last year.

The December results were ahead of FatFace’s first half results, with sales in the 26 weeks to November 29 flat at £99m, but ecommerce sales growing by 11% to represent 16% of overall sales, up from 14% last year. Total earnings before interest, tax and asset depreciation (EBITDA) fell slightly in the six months to £19m, from last year’s £19.6m. Two new stores opened in December, taking the FatFace total to 212.

Anthony Thompson, chief executive of FatFace, said: “We have seen a strong multi-channel performance over the Christmas trading period where we maintained our stance of not discounting prior to our Boxing Day sale. This Christmas was a watershed moment for online, with a number of new trends reflecting the demand for convenience from time-poor customers. Our focus remains firmly on our customers who continue to trust in the price integrity associated with FatFace, whilst benefiting from a genuine Boxing Day sale.

“When we did go on sale, our sale saw a number of records broken including the highest ever sales on Boxing Day itself and a strong online performance, where an order was being made every second at the


Commenting on half-year performance, he said: “After a strong first quarter in which we faced strong comparatives from the prior year, we were impacted by the difficult trading conditions for the remainder of the half, as the warm weather persisted across the UK. We have continued to improve and expand our store footprint with some fantastic new stores, as well as strategic relocations which have allowed us to showcase a broader product range to our customers.”

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