The luxury retailer and quintessentially British brand, Fortnum & Mason enjoyed a record-breaking Christmas, with the best day’s trading in its 307 year history as thousands of last-minute shoppers splashed out on their luxury goods.
Since Fortnum & Mason began in 1707 it’s been an intrinsic part of the nation’s history and is one of the Royal family’s favourite retailers. This year the top-selling products in the luxury group include – port and stilton, a champagne, their salted caramel gift box and Christmas crackers.
Fortnum & Mason have sold six £5,000 Imperial hampers – another record – which include wild smoked salmon, Beluga caviar, pure-bred Maldonado ham, Christmas pudding, rare tea and coffee and Veuve Clicquot Champagne and the sale of caviar went up a dramatic 42%.
Sales increased 22.8% over the five weeks to January 4, 2015, compared to the same period last year, as like-for-like sales rose 18.3%. Online sales jumped 31% over the period.
Their six-storey, flagship store in Piccadilly recorded sales of 13% above their previous best trading day and 20% ahead of the same day last year. Whilst the brand’s St Pancras International store reported the biggest increase, up 47.7% on the same period from last year. Fortnum & Mason’s Chief Executive describing trading as, ‘outstanding’.
“This has been a very significant year for the company, and our excellent Christmas results are the reward for all the work we have done throughout the year making our brand more relevant and contemporary.”
“I am particularly pleased that our sales growth over Christmas has been due in no small part to domestic sales. We are certainly engaging more with Londoners, who, like everyone else, respect our foodie credentials and know that at Fortnum’s they can expect a fabulous customer experience. We did not participate in Black Friday, and we believe that our success is based on great products, well presented, and on impeccable service. We have shown, however, that Fortnum’s is not just for Christmas, and we are looking forward to making further progress throughout 2015.” - Ewan Venters, Chief Executive.
As well as its Piccadilly flagship store, Fortnum & Mason have shops in St Pancras International Station in London, Hong Kong and Dubai. A pop-up shop at Somerset House’s skating rink in London has also helped its Christmas takings.
It's clear to see that consumers are tired of cutting back and are now treating themselves to luxury goods. A recent report from Barclaycard revealed that shopping habits are changing - Shoppers are more inclined to squeeze the best value from essential purchases and are now spending more on treats.
The strong performance means the group, owned by retailing dynasty the Weston family, may have a record year. Last year sales jumped 10% to £65million with pre-tax profit up fivefold, to £1.8million – the best profits in its history.
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