Shorts, flip-flops and online keep Debenhams growing
Tuesday 17 September 2013
Strong online sales made up for a fall in shoppers coming through Debenhams’ doors, according to the department store’s latest figures.
A revamp of its flagship Oxford Street store also remains on track and will be completed in November — at a cost of £40 million — just in time for the hoped-for Christmas rush .
The warm summer also helped sales of shorts and sandals jump by at least 30%, while the business managed to increase market share across several areas of the business.
Online sales soared 46% in the past year, delivering an overall 2% rise in like-for-like sales but suggesting fewer customers coming into stores.
Profits remain in line with expectations of £153m, and bring a calm end to a turbulent year for the group, which issued a profit warning in March due to the snow.
Chief executive Michael Sharp said: “The return to more seasonal weather conditions over the summer has been helpful.”
But he warned: “We are confident in our strategy but are not expecting any rapid recovery in consumer sentiment.”
The rise in online sales saw Debenhams gain market share. Online now accounts for 13% of its business.
However, the retailer is still trailing rival John Lewis, which sees 26% of sales through its own website. Despite the online gains, Sharp is keen to continue opening new stores and has 70 sites identified. He has previously said that customers who shop in-store and online are likely to spend twice as much as those who use only a single channel.
The company also saw an increase in customers using smartphones and tablets, up 78% on the year, and said they were also spending more money through them. Sales of seasonal clothes soared. About 800,000 pairs of men’s shorts were bought in the 10 weeks to the end of August, up 30% on a year earlier.
Flip-flop sales rose 43% to 280,000 pairs and sales of women’s shorts jumped 24%.
The Oxford Street revamp will add 20,000 sq ft of retail space as old offices are converted into shop floor. The exterior will be clad with 180,000 metal tiles.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Paralympian sick again after photographs of Reeva Steenkamp's body are shown in court
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: US pushes search towards vast expanse of the Indian Ocean
Tony Benn dead: Veteran Labour politician passes away at 88
Arrest made after man is found by the side of the road with his penis cut off
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Focus shifts west as Indian Ocean becomes latest search area for the aircraft and its passengers
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
- 1 Tony Benn meets Ali G: Watch Labour veteran burn Sacha Baron Cohen
- 2 Women do experience two different types of orgasm, study reveals
- 3 Tony Benn dead: Veteran Labour politician passes away at 88
- 4 Malaysia flight MH370: Pitbull song lyrics bear uncanny resemblance to missing plane mystery, according to YouTubers
- 5 Gauthier Soho has ranted against 'food blaggers' - so can we really trust online reviews?
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £43000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global lea...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...