Selfridges shrugs off high street malaise to surge to record sales

Selfridges has credited a raft of new customer experiences such as an indoor skating bowl and a crystal-encrusted Damien Hirst artwork as it posted another year of record sales.

The historic retailer shrugged off the retail malaise weighing on the high street to increase sales by 6% to £1.85 billion for the year to February 2019.

However, the company also saw operating profits slip to £170 million, from £175 million the previous year, as it increased investment across its portfolio.

Selfridges said customer numbers increased after it drove investment into improving costumer experiences, such as with the launch of a skate bowl on its new menswear floor at its Oxford Street store.

Selfridges opened an indoor skate bowl on their new menswear floor in their Oxford Street store (Selfridges/PA)
Selfridges opened an indoor skate bowl on their new menswear floor in their Oxford Street store (Selfridges/PA)

It also heavily invested in the opening of its Brasserie of Light restaurant last year, which has mirrored walls and a crystal-covered Pegasus sculpture designed by Hurst.

Outside of London, the retailer also completed the creation of its beauty hall and expanded the accessories hall at its Manchester Trafford store.

It investment into improving customer experience will also see its flagship Oxford Street store become the first department store in the world with a permanent cinema from November, the company said.

Simon Forster, managing director of Selfridges, said: “We are a global brand investing in our stores and digital to share our customer experience and innovation.

“Our results demonstrate strong sales and profits and we are confident that the launch of our cinema, toy store and Christmas theme, future fantasy, will support further growth through 2019.”

Investment in digital also helped to drive further sales growth through online channels, the company said.

Anne Pitcher, managing director of parent business Selfridges Group, said: “Selfridges has delivered excellent results for 2018.

“In to 2019 and beyond, we will strive to remain at the forefront of experiences as we disrupt and re-imagine the world of retail, where sustainability and creativity are at its heart.”

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