Stars fuel Fragrance Shop growth

Justin BieberCelebrity-branded ranges and the growth of the male grooming market fuelled a 23% jump in annual sales at retailer The Fragrance Shop.

The Manchester-based business has 135 stores but wants to capitalise on the sector's growth by opening another 100 sites over the next five years, creating around 500 jobs.
The UK's largest independently-owned perfume retailer saw sales rise £70.4 million in the year to March 31, with best selling products across its 700-strong range including new launches from Jimmy Choo and Diesel.

It said there had been a sharp rise in sales amongst younger customers, including celebrity-branded fragrances such as Justin Bieber's Someday as well as Dazzle and Be Reem from reality TV show, The Only Way is Essex.

The sales figure was helped by 22 store openings and growth of 9% at those stores open for more than a year. Underlying profits rose 24% to £9.3 million.

The company said sales of men's fragrances also increased at their fastest ever rate, accounting for 40% of sales and fuelled by new product launches such as Gucci Guilty Pour Homme, as well as continued growth from existing brands including Paco Rabanne's 1 Million.

Recent figures from Mintel show the perfume market generated UK sales of £1.4 billion in 2011, with analysts predicting growth of 45% over the next five years. The report also said the UK was the world's fastest-growing market.

In terms of its own expansion, the company said six new sites have already had contracts exchanged including Plymouth and Blackpool, with a further 20 targeted during the remainder of 2012.

The Fragrance Shop was founded in 1995 with a single store in Liverpool. It now employs 700 people, including over 100 at its new head office and warehouse facility in Manchester.

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