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PEAK 2017 Top500 retailers from Dixons Carphone to Pets at Home and N Brown Group on their Christmas performance

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Top500 retailers from Dixons Carphone to N Brown Group reported their Christmas trading updates this week. Here’s what they had to say about their performance – and their multichannel strategies.

Dixons Carphone: international sales strengthen

Dixons Carphone, owner of Currys PC World, Leading retail brands in IRUK Top500 research, said Boxing Day sales had not lived up to the promise of Black Friday week in the UK as it reported a 4% rise in revenue for the 10 weeks to January 6, with like-for-like sales up by 6%.

In its UK and Ireland market, sales grew by 3% LFL – while its Greek market showed LFL sales increase by an “excellent” 23% as shoppers there took part in their first Black Friday, and Nordic sales were up by 11%.

Chief executive Seb James said: “The stars of the show were unquestionably Greece and the Nordics where like-for-like revenues rose by 23% and 11% respectively and I was also satisfied, in this more cautious consumer environment, with like-for-like growth of 3% in the UK&I. In UK&I electricals, our Boxing Day sales did not quite mirror the promise of our very strong Black Friday week, but we are very confident that we grew market share in pretty much every category. Particularly strong this year were Large-Screen TVs, Gaming, Smart Tech, and SIM free phones; we sold just under one in three SIM free phones in the UK market over the period, further strengthening our customer relevance.

“Our international businesses had a terrific Christmas period with Greece enjoying its first real Black Friday and the Nordics benefiting from better availability and delivery propositions following our investment in a new small product warehouse last year.”

Pets at Home: omnichannel boost

The pet superstore business said that it saw the benefits of omnichannel at it reported group revenues reach £223.3m in the 12 weeks to January 5, up by 9.6% on the same time last year. Revenue from selling products grew by 9% to £193.4m, including £13m from omnichannel sales – up by 77% on last time. On a like-for-like basis merchandise sales grew by 6.8% and, said Pets at Home , a Top50 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, had a “good performance” in-store as well as online thanks to services such as order in-store and subscription medicine sales. Revenue from services, including grooming and vet services, grew by 13.6% to £19.9m.

Improvements during the period included a new checkout process on the mobile website, which boosted online conversion.

Chief executive Ian Kellett said: “We again saw the benefits of our omnichannel capabilities, providing customers with innovative and convenient ways to shop, particularly through Order In-Store and subscription services. This unique combination of capabilities are brought to life by our store colleagues who provide the friendly expertise, advice and service that our customers really value.”

Pets at Home traded from 452 stores in the quarter, as well as online. More than half (55%) of its stores had an integrated vet practice and grooming salon.

N Brown Group: customers move online and to mobile

N Brown Group showed how its customer base continues to move online in its Christmas trading statement. Some 74% of its sales, via brands including Simply Be , Jacamo and JD Williams , took place online in the third quarter of its financial year, to January 6. That’s up from 70% a year earlier, and came as online sales grew by 9%. It said that 77% of traffic came via mobile devices – and that 57% of that was via smartphones. Some 82% of new customer demand came online during the period, up by five percentage points on last time.

The rise came during a quarter in which the group upgraded the app for its Simply Be brand, a Top150 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, and launched a new loyalty programme for the brand alongside delivery subscription offers for its three power brands, which also include Jacamo (Top250) and JD Williams (Top250). The group said it also “made further progress with the use of social media data for credit decisioning”.

Total overall revenues grew by 2.7% during the period, and total active customers grew by 4.7%. The company said its profit forecasts remained unchanged. The retailer announced a deal to sell through the Zalando platform.

Chief executive Angela Spindler said: “Simply Be was our standout brand, up 14.5%. We saw strong progress across our key strategic indicators, with online revenue up 9%, Power Brand revenue up 7.3% and the USA up 22%. The fashion market remains competitive and we invested in promotional activity across our brands and product categories, which successfully delivered market share gains.”

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