Selfridges shrugs off cost-of-living crunch as busier high streets boost sales

Shoppers flocked to Selfridges despite cost-of-living pressures as the department store chain benefited from returning tourists and commuters to major high streets.

The historic retailer reported a surge in revenues and narrowed losses in its previous financial year, according to newly filed accounts.

Selfridges Retail, which trades as Selfridges & Co across its four large department stores and online business, recorded a 29% increase in revenue to £843.7 million for the year to January 28, compared with the previous year.

The business, which was founded in 1909, had been impacted significantly by the pandemic and travel restrictions in the previous year.

Boxing Day sales
Selfridges said it was buoyed by a recovery in shopper footfall (James Manning/PA)

It also highlighted that it saw “some supply chain disruption continuing into the year”, which it said was also impacted by Brexit-related rules.

Improved trading over the year was “driven by strong footfall and sales” through the company’s physical stores, particularly Oxford Street in London and Exchange Square in Manchester.

Meanwhile, Selfridges posted a pre-tax loss of £37.9 million for the year, shrinking from a £121.5 million loss a year earlier.

It blamed the loss on the application of the new IFRS 16 accounting standard, which it said had a downwards impact worth £69.5 million.

It was the first year of trading after the retail group was bought in a roughly £4 billion deal by a partnership of Thai and Austrian billionaires.

In December 2021, Central Group, controlled by the Thai Chirathivat family, and Austrian real estate specialists Signa Group agreed to take control of Selfridges in a 50-50 joint venture, ending almost 20 years of ownership by the billionaire Weston family.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –