Sales rose 5% to £1.14bn at Selfridges in the year to 30 January 2016 but profits were dented due to continued investment at the department store group.
The business has undertaken a major upgrade of its Oxford Street flagship which led to a 1.9% drop in operating profits of £152m. The £300m investment has been designed to promote sustainable future growth and has included the opening of the new Body Studio and Designer Studio, all of which have been built while the store continues to trade.
According to The Times, the Selfridges accounts will soon be filed at Companies House and will also show an “above average” performance in stores outside of London in Birmingham and Manchester. Online sales also improved but were not broken down in the accounts, however the business noted that at the beginning of 2015 it was shipping to 60 countries and that figure has now more than doubled to 130.
Managing director Anne Pitchter told The Times that the investment, which was described in the company accounts as “unprecedented”, was not only confined to London. “Our business is really great in London and I am excited that our business is still really good outside London too. Balance is the essence of long-term success. There is further investment [to come] in our stores in Manchester and we continue to add more brands and products to our website,” she said.
Pitcher added that Selfridges, which last week unveiled its Christmas windows, had achieved a post-Brexit vote boost as international shoppers turn to London for cheaper luxury products thanks to the drop in sterling (Harrods recently reported the same), however she added that part of Selfridges ethos was to as appeal as much to a domestic audience as an international one.
Selfridges UK is part of the international Selfridges Group, which is owned by Canada’s Weston family, which also includes Ireland’s Brown Thomas, Canada’s Holt Renfrew and Dutch business De Bijenkorf.