The Fragrance Shop sales boosted by blockbuster scents

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The Fragrance Shop, the UK’s largest independent fragrance retailer, has reported a 5.5% increase in like-for-like sales with trading boosted by a range of big-ticket scents.

The retailer, which has 179 UK stores, said total sales for the year to the end of March rose 9.4% to £105m (2015: £96m) – a record high – as it further expanded its store portfolio. Its online operation also continued to increase in popularity, with year-on-year ecommerce sales rising 38%.

The figures delivered an increase in underlying profit of 9% to £14.4m (2015: £13.2m).

Alongside Sauvage, which launched last autumn, sales were driven by new fragrances from Hugo Boss – whose new scent is advertised by British actor Theo James – Decadence by Marc Jacobs and Gucci’s Bamboo, endorsed by Israeli film star Gal Gadot.

The company also reported strong demand for Twist & Spritz, its exclusive 8ml (100 sprays) atomiser which allows customers to take their favourite fragrance on the move.

During the year The Fragrance Shop opened 14 new stores. It plans to launch another 20 new stores in the current financial year and remains on target to open its 200th UK store during 2017.

The retailer, which employs just under 1,100 people, also said trading had remained strong following the EU referendum vote as consumers sought out ‘accessible luxury’.

Michelle Edmondson, retail director of The Fragrance Shop, said: “During another strong year of trading at The Fragrance Shop, we continued to grow both headline and like-for-like sales, increasing our market share in a highly competitive market.

“Sales of Dior’s Sauvage surpassed all expectations, while there was also huge demand for other big-ticket scents, including fragrances from Boss, Gucci and Marc Jacobs. With our exclusive Twist & Spritz product, it also means consumers can take their favourite fragrance wherever they want.

“Trading has remained robust in the wake of the Brexit vote in late June and we are experiencing something of a ‘fragrance effect’ – in these uncertain times we believe people view fragrance as an accessible luxury. People may be foregoing extravagant purchases, but they can easily and affordably invest in a new fragrance to help them feel great.”

The Fragrance Shop said it had received positive customer feedback on My Fragrance App, the ‘fragrance finder’ for smartphones launched last year which allows shoppers to receive personalised recommendations.

It also reported strong take-up of its same-day delivery service, developed in partnership with Shutl, which lets customers order and receive their fragrance in as little as an hour.

Meanwhile, the company received a 98% customer satisfaction score in a shopper survey carried out by independent review body Feefo.

Sanjay Vadera, CEO of The Fragrance Shop, added: “Our offer has never been more compelling and our customers are telling us that they love our product selection, our service and advice and our multi-channel proposition, which includes our within-the-hour delivery service and personalised app.

“Our focus over the next year will be on bringing this combination to even more people as we approach 200 stores in the UK. We’re also confident of enjoying another successful Christmas, our key trading period of the year.”

Vadera said Diesel BAD and Hugo Boss’s The Scent Her were expected to be top-sellers this Christmas, alongside perennial favourites from Chanel, Viktor & Rolf and Dior.

According to Mintel, the global perfume market is expected to grow from $30bn to $45.6bn by 2018.

The Fragrance Shop was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Manchester.