The strength of 2019 performance helped Selfridges face the challenge of 2020
Selfridges announces a strong financial performance for the year ending 2 February 2020. The year delivered £1.97 billion in sales, up 7% on the previous year. Sales growth was delivered against a challenging retail backdrop and a significant investment across the business, in both stores and across its digital channels. Selfridges operating profit was £88m, which was down 10% on the previous year, reflecting the level of investment made.
In 2019 Selfridges lived up to its commitment to be more than a shop by bringing exciting destinations, experiences and collaborations to its customers.
Launch of a 22,000 sq foot toy destination in London, including a custom-made giant walk-on piano made famous by the movie ‘Big’ (1988).
An expanded luxury Accessories Hall with 170 brands available was launched to deliver Manchester Trafford customers a new experience, alongside the new San Carlo Champagne Bar.
The Cinema at Selfridges opened in London, enabling customers to enjoy state-of-the-art sound and vision entertainment instore.
New services included the introduction of a Beauty Concierge across its London, Trafford and Exchange stores, offering customers a beauty destination and the opportunity for beauty advice and information from dedicated team members.
Selfridges became the first department store to stop selling product from exotic animal skins and pledged to remove all plastic-based cosmetic glitter by 2021.
Continued to invest across all customer digital channels, including digital stock systems
Investment and roll out of Microsoft Teams and digital tools.
Commenting on business performance, Anne Pitcher, Managing Director, Selfridges Group said: “I am very pleased with our strong and resilient performance in 2019. It was a year of creativity and innovation which brought exciting new experiences to our customers and set us on the path to change the future of retail.”
Selfridges planned to deliver a Christmas like no other for customers whether instore or online through curated products and sustainable edits, services and offers (e.g. Elfridges virtual gift advice, bookable Click-And-Collect, hampers concierge) and, festive entertainment and inspirational advice (e.g. Dial-a-Santa, the Christmas Market in the Mews). Despite new restrictions being put in place in November and again the week before Christmas, Selfridges moved swiftly to ensure Christmas was delivered and even its youngest customers got the Christmas they expected by moving their meeting with Santa online. Throughout the period customers continued to shop online with strong digital performance and, as expected, instore trading was challenging.
Anne Pitcher comments further: “2020 has been an exceptionally difficult year but thanks to the financial performance during 2019 we entered 2020 in a strong position. Throughout the pandemic, our key priority has been the health and wellbeing of our customers and team members and that has been the focus of much of our activity over the past few months. We have remained agile and flexible all while delivering the very best.
experience, destination and products for our customers within the guidelines set by the government. We are pleased with the growth in digital this year and our ability to deliver to over 130 countries has helped offset the lack of international travel.
“After two years of planning and over a decade of impactful sustainability initiatives, we are particularly proud to have successfully launched Project Earth putting sustainability at the heart of the business with stretching sustainability targets to deliver our commitment to change the way we shop and the way we do business. We acknowledge that recovery will be slow, with sales this year forecast to be significantly less than they were in 2019 however Selfridges is set up for a long, sustainable future.”
Notes to Editors:
Key Christmas highlights:
Selfridges launched its greenest ever Christmas Shop, with half of all products including decorations, crackers, cards and wrapping paper boasting one or more sustainable attributes in line with the retailer’s Project Earth commitments
A record number of customers purchased gift wrapped orders online, double the number vs 2019
Elfridges appointments via video call were introduced as an additional service, accounting for 22% of all gifting appointments
Sales of hampers were up 50% on last year with the Classic Christmas Hamper being the best seller
Selfridges London took Santa online, providing 245 families with a complimentary dial-a-Santa appointment. Manchester Exchange, Trafford and Birmingham stores provided socially distanced meet-and-greet photo opportunities with Santa for more than 2,000 families.