House of Fraser reaches record Christmas sales

House of Fraser on Monday reported record sales during the festive season despite a difficult 2012 for retailers in general.

House of Fraser on Monday reported record sales during the festive season despite a difficult 2012 for retailers in general.

The department store announced a 6.3% rise in like-for-like sales as online purchases doubled in the six weeks to January 5th.

Fashion and beauty products were among the biggest sellers as consumers stocked up on gifts for Christmas.

The results mean House of Fraser will be able to meet its target for a 2.4% increase in earnings this year.

The privately-owned group, which has 60 stores in Britain and Ireland, had slashed prices before Christmas with discounts of up to 50% on party dresses and beauty products, including makeup and perfume.

The company's Chairman, Don McCarthy, said they had reaped rewards from investing in their website, promoting house brands, and focusing on their fashion products.

House of Fraser defied a tough year for retailers in 2012. Disposable incomes of consumers remained squeezed, putting pressure on profit margins of the sector.

JJB Sports, Clinton Cards, Game Group, Comet and HMV were among the victims of a retail sector struggling to adapt to changing consumer spending habits, said Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst at CMC Markets.

The industry faces another difficult year unless the UK economy improves and average earning start to align with inflation, he added.

RD

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