Fat Face festive sales up despite avoiding Black Friday, pre-Christmas sales

Fat Face’s decision to shun the traditional pre-Christmas discounting practices paid off for the British casualwear retailer, as sales increased by 12% and 8% on a like-for-like basis in the 5 weeks to 6 January 2018.

Fat Face

Instead of offering deep discounts during Black Friday and the lead up to Christmas, the brand kept its full-price promise, and even closed 40 of its 228 stores on Boxing Day.

The weekend of the 23rd of December set a new full-price sales record for the company, while the weekend of the 30th of December saw the brand’s largest ever week of sales. All channels performed strongly during the Christmas period, with wholesale and partner channels a particular highlight at 60%.

“Our trading performance over the Christmas period has been strong on all fronts. We continue to believe that giving our customers price integrity before the big day has been central to this performance,” said CEO Anthony Thompson. Fat Face may have also benefitted from the December cold snap, as it focuses on outwear and knitwear.

Fat Face

The festive results topped a strong first half, with the clothing company reporting a 12% increase in sales to £120m in the 26 weeks to 2 December. Like-for-like sales increased by 7%, while e-commerce sales climbed a stellar 27% and now account for 18% of overall sales (compared to 16% in 2016).

Fat Face’s international expansion has also driven a 61% increase in overseas sales to £5.5m. The brand has now six stores in the US, with a further three more in the pipeline. The company also delivered a number of investment projects during the period, including a new distribution centre in Havant and a new online platform.

EBITDA improved by 8% to £14.9m in the first half of the year.

Anthony Thompson said: “FatFace has outperformed the market in the first half while maintaining a full price trading stance. Our US stores continue to perform well and we look forward to further openings in 2018 and beyond. This together with a new Distribution Centre and launch of a new website underpinned a great first half for the Group.”

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