Impressive sales growth across every channel has propelled Fortnum & Mason to a record trading performance this Christmas. At the end of a year in which one of the world’s illustrious retail brands posted record-breaking profits, Fortnum’s like-for-like sales over the five weeks up to January 1, 2017 showed a 16 per cent increase on the previous year.
This outstanding figure was underpinned by online sales, which were up 22 per cent on 2015. In keeping with the brand’s growing global presence, Fortnum’s products were dispatched to a total of 121 countries around the world in the run-up to Christmas.
Online sales peaked on Monday, December 12, when sales were 25 per cent better than the same day the previous year. Overall, online trading contributed 34 per cent of Fortnum’s sales over the festive period, but all the company’s stores – in Piccadilly, and at St Pancras and Heathrow Terminal 5 – also posted significant like-for-like increases.
The company’s flagship store in Piccadilly saw significant growth. Footfall at the store was up 10 per cent, and on the Saturday prior to Christmas weekend, a record 27,000 customers came through the doors in Piccadilly. The varied hospitality offerings at the store were particularly strong performers.
Among the product categories, there was some exceptional growth. For instance, the bakery department posted a 23 per cent increase, buoyed by the popularity of own brand products, while some tea ranges more than doubled in sales. Luxury purchases such as caviar, hand carved smoked salmon and white truffles also registered impressive rises, and sales of hampers, traditionally at the heart of Christmas trading, were up year-on-year by 19 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Ewan Venters, chief executive of Fortnum & Mason, said: “At the end of a year of great financial uncertainty and upheaval, these are very encouraging results. Our excellent Christmas performance is a reflection on the improvements we have made in our offering across online and our range of stores, and is testament to the enduring appeal of great products and impeccable service. At a challenging time for all retailers, we have shown that a quality experience is still highly attractive to customers around the world.”