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Thursday 26 April 2018

British brands Joules and FatFace celebrate rise in Christmas sales

FatFace saw a 12% jump in total sales in the five weeks to January 6.

Like-for-like sales at FatFace over the Christmas period rose 8%
Like-for-like sales at FatFace over the Christmas period rose 8%

By Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association City Reporter

UK clothing brands Joules and FatFace are celebrating a jump in Christmas sales, adding some holiday cheer to what is shaping up to be a hit-and-miss season for retailers.

FatFace said it experienced a 12% jump in total sales and a like-for-like rise of 8% in the five weeks to January 6, with wholesale and concession channels emerging as a “particular highlight” over the period.

December 30 ended the clothing brand’s largest-ever week of sales, while the week ending December 23 marked a record week of full-price sales.

That is despite FatFace deciding not to open 40 of its 228 stores on Boxing Day which it said allowed customers and staff to “spend time with their families over Christmas”.

Fatface chief executive Anthony Thompson said: “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.”

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Joules also enjoyed a strong holiday trading period, with total retail sales up 19.2% in the seven weeks to January 7, compared to a year earlier.

The clothing company said the rise was driven by continued growth across both its e-commerce and store divisions, while it managed to maintain its “disciplines and selective approach” to price promotions.

Colin Porter, chief executive of Joules, said: “The group’s retail performance through the Christmas trading period is testament to the strength of the Joules brand, unique product proposition and customer engagement.”

But Joules shares failed to rise on the back of the results and were trading lower by 0.3% at 309p in Tuesday morning trading.

Privately-owned FatFace also revealed figures showing strong performance ahead of the holiday shopping season.

It said total sales rose by 12% to £120 million in the 26 weeks to December 2, while total underlying earnings climbed 8% to £14.9 million.

On a like-for-like basis, sales rose 7%.

Online retail was up 27%, helping e-commerce account for 18% of overall sales, while sales from its international division surged 61% to £5.5 million.

FatFace is now planning to open a further three stores in the US in February, adding to its six existing outlets.

Mr 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.”

Press Association

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