Selfridges hits record sales as domestic growth helps offset international slowdown

Selfridges hit record annual earnings and sales as the UK fashion department store chain, boosted by the launch of its international delivery service 14 months ago. The retailer, which has been owned by Canada’s Weston family for over a decade, reported a 12.3% jump in operating profit to £150m for the 12 months to December 2013, as retail sales drove 10.4% higher to £1.2bn.

Selfridges, which operates its flagship Oxford Street store plus units in Birmingham and Manchester, said it continued to see year-on-year growth in all retail channels, with notable strength in its online business, in particular international sales, after the launch of international delivery to more than 60 countries last August.

“Despite challenging trading conditions in 2014 we are accelerating our investment in multi-channel and continuing our £300m redevelopment programme of our Oxford Street store,” said group managing director Paul Kelly.

Anne Pitcher, MD of Selfridges UK, also told The Times newspaper that there had been “significant” growth in online takings and international spending during the period.

She noted that the retailer was “cautiously optimistic” for Christmas trading, adding: “Really, the story is that strong domestic growth is helping offset a slowdown in that extremely high rate of growth in international spending.”

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