Harvey Nichols feels the love as sales and profits rise in latest year
today Jul 8, 2019
Harvey Nichols’ heavy investment in its Knightsbridge flagship in London seems to have paid off at the upscale fashion-focused department store, even in a period that’s been hugely challenging for UK fashion retail.
The company’s pre-tax sales rose a healthy 9% in the year to March, hitting £228.8 million after a multi-million pound refurbishment of the Knightsbridge destination store, The Times reported.
The big news in the latest financial year was the giant revamp of its womenswear offer (following on the heels of its earlier menswear relaunch) which saw a stronger focus on individual designer boutiques, as well as key categories such as shoes.
But the company has also added a number of other customer-pleasing features such as exclusive product deals and investment in its online offer. Last month, it said that its omnichannel focus using technology from Global-e had improved the shopping experience on its webstore for overseas shoppers.
The latest results follow an improvement in the previous year too, with revenues that had also risen 9% to £210 million. At the time of the more detailed release of the earlier 2017/18 figures last September, the company had hailed its progress but also warned of the challenging environment. Yet this doesn’t seem to have deterred its luxury-focused customers since then and with London remaining a major tourist spot (as well as the pound still being weak due to ongoing Brexit-linked concerns), the company looks set fair for more of the same in the current year.
Harvey Nichols is run by joint COOs Manju Malhotra and Daniela Rinaldi and Malhotra told the newspaper that despite talk about whether department stores are still relevant, their multibrand model is a strong one in the current environment. “The fact is, you can allocate space to showcase brands and they can evolve depending on what the customer’s preferences are. You’re not tied to a particular brand or service,” she said.
Aside from Knightsbridge, the company has six other UK stores and one in Ireland, as well as six licensed stores abroad. There was no news on their progress although we could hear more when full accounts are filed. They’re due by December 31.
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