Following today’s release of Fortnum & Mason Christmas trading figures for 2019, Emily Salter, retail analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments: ‘‘Unsurprisingly, luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason has delivered yet another strong year of sales growth over Christmas as its unique proposition, strong brand identity and product innovation helped it to overcome the tough retail market in December to outperform its FY2018/19 (the year ending July 2019) total growth of 12%. The retailer has proven it can successfully capitalise on consumer trends, in particular experiential retail, as its hospitality business grew by 15% and private dining outperformed with a 20% increase in sales.
“Store sales remained strong over the period with a like-for-like increase of 9% as Fortnum & Mason’s stores provide a unique experience to visitors, especially over the festive season. Additionally, due to the location of its stores, Fortnum & Mason will not have felt the impacts of subdued footfall as much as other retailers, with its central London flagship attracting both domestic and international shoppers, and travel locations benefitting from guaranteed footfall. 84% of sales at the Piccadilly flagship store in December were to domestic customers (up 1 ppt versus last year), proving it is still a strong performer among UK shoppers despite economic uncertainty due to its reputation for quality products and speciality in gifting. The retailer continues to innovate to meet consumer demand, with one in nine bottles of sparkling drink sold being its non-alcoholic Sparkling Tea, adapting to the trend of consumers drinking less alcohol.
“Fortnum & Mason’s overall growth was bolstered by the outperformance of its online channel as online penetration reached 39% (up 3 ppts versus last year). To drive this further, the retailer should improve its delivery proposition for those who cannot easily reach a store, as standard home delivery is £5.95 and though third-party pickup options are available, they are not well promoted.”