LONDON – Despite Omicron, supply-chain woes, and Russia’s war in Ukraine, revenues at Selfridges‘ four U.K. stores jumped 29 percent to 843.7 million pounds in the fiscal year ended Jan. 28, 2023, while pre-tax losses narrowed.
According to the most recent filings on Companies House, the official registry of U.K. businesses, shoppers flooded back into Selfridges’ stores, particularly the flagship on Oxford Street in London and the unit at Royal Exchange, Manchester, once the Omicron strain of COVID-19 receded and lockdown restrictions eased.
The uptick in sales helped contribute to the reduction in pre-tax losses to 37.9 million pounds from 121.5 million pounds in the previous period. Much of the company’s cost base is due to property, and Selfridges said that a rise in finance costs was offset by a decline in rental expenses during the period.
No dividends were paid in the 12 months compared with 80 million pounds in the prior period.
Fiscal 2022 was a year of transition for Selfridges, with new owners Central Group and Signa finalizing their purchase of the four Selfridges stores in the U.K.; Brown Thomas and Arnotts in the Republic of Ireland; and De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.
The partners purchased the Selfridges group of stores for a reported 4 billion pounds from the Weston family, and have since loaded the business with more than 1.7 billion pounds in debt, the result of rising interest rates.
In the Companies House statement, principals said Selfridges was well-financed and that future investment would be funnelled into the retail store estate and ecommerce.
The beauty hall at Selfridges Oxford Street store has been undergoing a large-scale renovation, with the first phase revealed to the public earlier this week.
Selfridges has said it wants the Oxford Street Beauty Hall to be home to state-of-the-art and sustainable in-store experiences. The entire hall is due to be finished in spring 2024.
As reported, the store is also in the midst of a consultation period ahead of a staff restructuring that could result in layoffs.
The company said it is looking at how its head office, including some small retail teams that support the stores, are organized “to best deliver for our customers.” The company said that the store and restaurant team members are not part of the review.