House Of Fraser’s E-Commerce Growth

By Rory Betteridge | 24 Sep 2015

Scottish department store chain House Of Fraser has seen growth in e-commerce of over 30 percent, dwarfing physical retail growth of two percent.

Growth in House Of Fraser’s e-commerce sales, which now represent almost a fifth of overall sales for the company, has been attributed to a host of online initiatives recently put in place, including a revamped iPhone app that caters for scanning barcodes in-store and strengthening of the brand’s fulfilment and Click & Collect services.

“Both stores and online have delivered positive sales and margin growth, building on the performance we have seen in both these channels in recent years, demonstrating the truly multichannel nature of our business,” House Of Fraser CEO Nigel Oddy told Internet Retailing.

“We have continued to invest in our UK business to remain at the forefront of retail innovation by developing out multichannel offering, enhancing our store portfolio, growing house brands and introducing exciting premium brands.”

Many of the changes that drove growth at House Of Fraser were put in place after the brand’s sale to Chinese investor group Sanpower, which bought an 89 percent stake in the brand. The Chinese conglomerate has committed to spending upwards of £25 million on bringing House Of Fraser stores into China over the next two years, as well as revamping the brand’s physical stores in the UK.

Oddy told the Telegraph that China is a continuing growth opportunity for the company, and that Sanpower would likely operate House Of Fraser online sales events through Chinese online retail platform Tmall, including participation in Chinese retail-driven Singles Day holiday on November 11. Oddy was hesitant to bring the campaign to the UK, however, noting that November 11 was Armistice Day in Britain.

“I don’t think we would bring Singles Day to the UK, I think that would be a bit insensitive,” Oddy said.

While House Of Fraser’s overall like-for-like sales had grown at a slower rate than that of earlier in the year, the company was optimistic about bumper autumn and winter seasons.

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