House of Fraser records positive summer sales

House of Fraser appears to have performed well in comparison to rival Debenhams over the summer, but still has some way to go to match stella growth from John Lewis.

In a statement to bond holders, the department store chain revealed like-for-like revenue growth of 4.6% in the eight weeks to September 22.

Debenhams is yet to release official figures, but recently said that August and early September had been “unusually quiet”.

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John Lewis has recorded same-store sales growth of 9% over the first six months of 2012.

House of Fraser stocks around 40 lingerie brands and, unlike John Lewis, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, does not currently sell an own-label line.

The company did not provide specific figures for lingerie sales against other product categories.

Privately-owned House of Fraser has staged a remarkable recovery since the 2009 collapse of Icelandic investor Baugur, which owned a majority stake.

Retail analyst Nick Bubb, speaking to The Times, said the chain is executing well on its recovery plan, but remains burdened with historic levels of debt. “If the truth be told, House of Fraser is not very profitable and it has a hefty interest change bill. But John King and his team have done a good job of updating the business and differentiating it from its rivals,” he told the newspaper.




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