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House of Fraser enjoys best-ever Christmas sales, with online up by 48%

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House of Fraser today reported its best-ever Christmas sales, with a record-breaking contribution from ecommerce.

Internet sales on rose by 48% in the six weeks to January 5, helping to push the group’s like-for-like sales in the period up by 6.3% and delivering it record sales in the two weeks before Christmas.

In a Christmas trading update out today, the company also said like-for-like sales for the first 10 weeks of the fourth quarter had grown by 5.2%. Drivers of the growth included a 10% boost to sales of house brands, while the fashion and beauty departments both turned in strong performances.

“The positive sales trends experienced in our third quarter have continued throughout the festive period, and we are pleased to report another record performance despite a more competitive environment,” said House of Fraser chairman Don McCarthy.

“This performance demonstrates the success of our strategy to continuously improve our online proposition, develop both our house brands and fashion credentials and invest in our stores to give our customer the best possible shopping experience.”

McCarthy said that 2012 had been a challenging year for retailers and it was difficult to say when economic conditions and consumer feeling would improve.

“However, with the strong sales performance in the period and a close focus on margins and operational efficiencies we expect to report growth in full-year earnings in line with previous indications,” he said. “Given the sales performance, we also expect to finish the year with a cleaner stock position and are well-placed to deliver further growth in 2013.”

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