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Brands hit by House of Fraser ecommerce overhaul

Several brands sold on House of Fraser’s website have complained about a drop in sales since it underwent a £25m ecommerce platform upgrade in April.

The department store group began the IT overhaul with the aims of improving ecommerce margins, and customer online experiences and creating the capacity to double online sales.

However, Drapers has learned that significant teething problems involving its search terms optimisation have since surfaced and have yet to be resolved.

Brand sources have said the department store has admitted that the upgrade has caused disruption.

One brand director said: “We don’t know how much data or how many algorithms they could have lost, or whether it’s more that they haven’t got round to putting everything up yet, but sales have been down.”

He added that despite this, they remained “fairly confident” in the business.

Another brand source called for more communication about the issue: “We’re aware that there are problems, but we don’t know what’s being done about them. Since the upgrade, figures have dropped.”

A spokeswoman for House of Fraser said: As with every project of this scale, and in line with our expectations, our online sales have been affected to a degree during the transitional period.

“However, the investment gives us the necessary capacity to grow our multichannel business, and gives us confidence we can deliver long-term growth and sustainable profitability.”


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