East sales rise over Christmas period

Chains that struggled over the Christmas trading period may be grabbing the biggest headlines at the moment but it’s important to recognise the fact that not everyone in UK fashion retail is suffering.


Get the product and pricing right and the sales will happen. East seems to have done this. The womenswear specialist, said that its comparable sales rose a healthy 6.5% during the shopping season and it powered ahead in online sales.

Its online sale several rose an impressive 32% in the five-week period up to December 25 and the company is truly an omnichannel retailer with e-sales making up 37% of its total during the period. That was a 10 percentage point rise year-on-year and it performed well at John Lewis as well as on its own webstore. 

But it didn’t say exactly what happened in its physical stores with the online surge suggesting that face-to-face sales may have been less buoyant.

The company’s CEO Erica Vilkauls said the company managed to retain existing shoppers and attract new ones and that it saw a good response to its product developments, despite the “very competitive and volatile environment.”
Of course, we don’t know whether those sales increases were achieved at the expense of margins but the fact that price promotions have been “working really well” suggests that profits won’t be hit, although we'll only know the full story in the months ahead. 

The company also said it will enter the new spring season with a clean inventory position.

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