The Fragrance Shop reports total Christmas sales up 11.8% and a 5% increase in like-for-like business

The Fragrance Shop - expanding chain

The Fragrance Shop – expanding chain

The Fragrance Shop, the UK’s largest independent fragrance retailer, has experienced a successful festive period, with total sales up 11.8% – and underlying like-for-like sales up 5% in the five weeks to December 27 –  compared with the same period last year.

The Christmas season saw a jostling of positions in the top performing fragrances, with luxury scents featuring highly. Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle; Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million, Lady Million and Invictus; and YSL’s newest launch, Black Opium, all featured in the top 10, along with new entries from established fragrances by Gucci Guilty and a first-time entry into the top 5 for Thierry Mugler’s Alien.

Multi-channel retailing is continuing to fuel sales, with strong growth from customers using its click and collect service to place orders online and collect in-store. The Fragrance Shop’s Try It First service, which sees customers receive a fragrance sample with their order, which they can try before opening the main bottle – and can return the main bottle if they don’t like it – enables them to experience the same level of sampling as they would in a store via online shopping.

Adding an extra 18 stores to its growing portfolio this year, the Manchester-based retailer opened its 171st store in December – and won a prestigious Pure Beauty ‘Best Store Design’ award for its new concept flagship, Indulge Fragrance Boutique, based at the Intu Trafford Centre, seeing off competition from Tesco and Superdrug.

Sanjay Vadera, chief executive of The Fragrance Shop, said: “Our Christmas trading figures demonstrate that The Fragrance Shop continues to beFirst For Fragrance. Our drive for innovation in the fragrance retailing industry has seen us launch a one hour ‘Click and Collect’ service while expanding our store portfolio. Our continued passion for fragrance, with highly trained staff both in our stores and our dedicated customer service team, really does make us First For Fragrance.”

“In the multi-channel age, customers still want to try out the fragrance they are buying for a loved one, which is why services like Try It First are proving so popular.”

Pete King, managing director, said: “Our growing portfolio of stores, coupled with our industry knowledge and continuing work to understand our customers has helped us add fragrance ranges and services that deliver an excellent experience for existing and new customers. We are continually looking at sites across the UK to expand our store portfolio and have seen this provide a growth in sales.

“Black Friday saw an earlier surge in sales this year, bringing trading forward, but last minute sales continued to give us our largest sales days with Christmas Eve proving the busiest day of the year.”

The Fragrance Shop received a 98% customer service rating on online feedback site Feefo over the Christmas period.

The company began with a single store in 1995 and now has 171 shops across the UK with plans to continue to grow its store portfolio in 2015 with 25 new stores. In the year to 31 March 2014, annual sales climbed by 11.2% to £90.1m.


The top 10 selling fragrances over Christmas were:

1 Paco Rabanne: 1 MILLION
2 Paco Rabanne: LADY MILLION
3 Thierry Mugler: ALIEN
6 Paco Rabanne: INVICTUS
8 Marc Jacobs: DAISY
9 Joop: HOMME
10 Gucci: GUILTY