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House of Fraser reports 40% Black Friday boost to online sales; Superdrug and Joules update

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House of Fraser says Black Friday 2015 was its biggest online day ever, with ecommerce sales up by 40% compared to Black Friday 2014. The boost helped total sales, across all channels, to rise by 10% on the previous year.

The department store group, which is an Elite retailer in the IRUK Top500, Over the whole of the Christmas trading period, the six weeks to January 2, like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of store openings and closures, were 5.3% up on last year. In the seven days running up to Christmas like-for-like sales, excluding VAT, grew by 6%, with online sales up by 61.8% and store sales up by 2.2%. In the week after Christmas, like-for-like sales were up by 6.8%.

Chief executive Nigel Oddy said he was “delighted” with the performance.

“This year, we saw a very strong start to the key Christmas season, with Black Friday being particularly strong online, with sales up 40% 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.

“The performance demonstrates the success of our ongoing strategy: to continuously improve our online proposition, to develop our house brands and premium brand proposition and work closely with our concession partners and to invest in our stores to provide our customers with the best possible shopping experience. Over the period, we have seen a record performance from our market leading Buy & Collect service, increasing by 22% on last year, highlighting the strength of our award winning multichannel business.”

House of Fraser was among a number of high street retailers reporting Christmas trading figures. Superdrug reported a 6.8% rise in like-for-like store sales, with online sales up by 47% over the five weeks to January 2. Joules reported total revenue up by 11.3% in the six weeks to January 3, with retail sales up by 13.1%. This, said Joules, demonstrated the success of its investment in multichannel, including the relaunch, in September, of

Joules chief executive Colin Porter said its focus was “on the long-term growth of Joules as a British lifestyle brand, both at home and abroad. The brand’s strong performance over the Christmas period across product categories and channels reflects the quality and design of our products as well as the appeal of the Joules brand.”

He added, “We have successfully introduced new customers to the brand and invested significantly in our infrastructure, including online capabilities, to provide a strong platform for continued growth as an international lifestyle brand.”

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