Selfridges continues to show midmarket department stores how it is done, says GlobalData

Following today’s release of Selfridges Christmas trading figures for 2019, Sofie Willmott, lead retail analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments: ‘‘The premium/luxury department store players continue to show up their midmarket counterparts with Selfridges reporting another strong Christmas while John Lewis & Partners, likely to be the best-performing of the three midmarket players, reported a 2.3% decline (for the seven weeks to 4 January 2020), with Debenhams and House of Fraser yet to release any results. Selfridges’ significantly smaller and more manageable store portfolio, makes it simpler for the retailer to introduce unique retail and leisure concepts into its locations, attracting shoppers who come back not only for its appealing products but also for its ever-evolving shopping experience.

“Perfectly timed for Christmas, Selfridges launched its FAO Schwarz concession in October 2019, helping to drive toys sales to rise 31% over the period. Although growth may have come from a low base, the category’s performance demonstrates that despite consumer concerns around plastic use and other retailers struggling to drive growth (Argos experienced a double-digit decline in toys sales over Christmas), toys are still wanted. A fun and engaging shopping environment for toys will have aided impulse purchases – something which is more difficult for other retailers with limited store space and a greater focus online to offer.

“Selfridges’ ability to continually innovate to deliver exciting experiences, along with its focus on sustainability which is clearly a vital theme in the retail world in reaction to consumers’ changing mind sets, makes it a threat for many retailers across sectors, and we expect the department store player to continue to outperform in 2020.”