House of Fraser said today that its ecommerce sales grew by 30.8% to represent 17.5% of sales, during a half-year that saw innovation across channels.
The ecommerce growth at the department store group – from 14.2% of sales taking place online at the same time last year – came as gross transaction value rose to £574.2m in the half-year to August 1. Like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, grew by 6.5%. Bricks and mortar sales contrasted with the strong online performance but remained positive, at 2% like-for-like growth. Gross profit of £204.7m was £11.3m ahead of last year. At the same time last year, online sales
House of Fraser, an Elite retailer in Internet Retailing’s IRUK500 research – pointed to online innovations including the updated iPhone app, which now enables customers to scan barcodes in store, and improvements to the delivery service that now see a midnight cut-off for online orders to be delivered to store by midday the following day.
“Both stores and online have delivered positive sales and margin growth, building on the performance we have seen in both these channels in recent years, demonstrating the truly multichannel nature of our business,” said Nigel Oddy, chief executive of House of Fraser.
“We have continued to invest in our UK business to remain at the forefront of retail innovation by developing out multichannel offering, enhancing our store portfolio, growing house brands and introducing exciting premium brands.”
Other highlights include plans to open the first House of Fraser store in China in 2016. The following year House of Fraser will anchor the new Rushden Lakes shopping centre in Northamptonshire.
Updating on current trading, the department store said challenging August sales meant like-for-like sales were up by 5.1% in the first 33 weeks of the year – constrasting with 6.5% growth in the first 26 weeks – but that it was “optimistic” for a successful autumn and winter season.