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Sharp growth for House of Fraser online

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Department store group House of Fraser has reported a 150% jump in its online sales in the first six months of its financial year.

The sharp rise in web transactions came as like-for-like sales rose by 8.4% rise in the six months to July 31 2010, while the gross value of transactions rose by 5.5% to £480.6m. At the same time earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose by 22% to £13.0m, from £10.7m last time.

Today’s financial results from the privately-owned company show that over the last year annual web sales have grown to £35m. The group is targeting ecommerce sales of £200m within three years.

Currently shoppers can buy more than 700 brands online from House of Fraser, but that’s expected to rise to more than 1,000 during 2011.

At the same time the company is working to improve its multichannel service. From this month delivery options include buy online and collect in store, and order in store for delivery at home. International delivery was introduced last month.

John King, chief executive, said: “Our strategy to enhance our customers’ shopping experience through a new ‘look and feel’ in stores, the introduction of exciting new brands and the development of our multichannel approach, is working for us. We are very excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.”

House of Fraser, owned by Highland Group Holdings, describes an operational strategy to strengthen its position as a leading premium-branded department store. It is currently also looking to increase the amount of revenue from house brands, from 11% at present to 30% or 40% within three years. Among them is the iconic Biba brand (pictured), which has become the single biggest womenswear brand in the business since it was reintroduced on September 9.

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