finance

Fortnum & Mason bucks retail trend with double digit sales growth



Leading upmarket retailer Fortnum & Mason today announced the seventh year of double digit sales growth.

The company, run by Scottish chief executive Ewan Venters saw profits rise by 26 per cent as sales across Fortnum’s business increased by 12 per cent to £138 million in the 12 months to 14 July.

Like-for-like sales at the company’s flagship store in London’s Picadilly showed a six per cent rise while online sales increased by 13 per cent on the previous year.

Sales at Fortnum’s travel site at St Pancras International rose by 15 per cent.

Fortnum’s has continued to drive growth overseas, particularly in Hong Kong and Japan, where sales have increased by 16 and 28 per cent, respectively.

The business has delivered its products to more than 120 countries worldwide, and in April 2019 Fortnum’s announced the opening of a new flagship branch in Hong Kong, the company’s first standalone store in Asia.

The company’s destination restaurant, 45 Jermyn St. is up 14 per cent on the previous year. Following the launch of Hong Kong, and last year’s successful opening at The Royal Exchange in the City of London, Fortnum’s now operates ten restaurants across the estate.

UK domestic customers have driven sales of Fortnum’s traditional products at Piccadilly, The Royal Exchange, Heathrow Terminal 5 and St Pancras International, with tea increasing by 11 per cent, supported by innovations such as Sparkling Tea, an organic blend of eight famous and rare brews.

The company said that it supports local suppliers. During the year Fortnum’s became the first retailer to stock Wilde’s Cheeses, of Tottenham, and also presented a new beer range from Westerham Brewery, which champions local hop farmers in Kent.

CEO Ewan Venters said: “We are very pleased to report another year of strong growth across our business, particularly within the context of the significant challenges facing the retail sector.

“Our reputation for delighting our customers around the world with the finest products and exceptional service drives us all to keep innovating and searching for the best partners and suppliers.

“I am delighted that before Christmas we will be trading from our first standalone store in Asia as we open a shop and restaurant in Hong Kong and we are now looking forward to a busy and successful Christmas.

“We believe the particular brand of festive cheer that Fortnum’s strives to deliver will be a welcome relief in these uncertain times.”

Company chair Kate Hobhouse said: “Ours is a business that celebrates the very best, be it food, drink, joy-giving gifts or indeed experiences.

“We are a traditional British business with a truly global outlook, and I am proud that people’s appetite for our brand is increasing around the world.

“We continue to serve our customers both at home and abroad, in person and across our digital platforms, and I am excited to see how the business can build on its recent success in the year ahead.”



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