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Full price drives Christmas sales at Fat Face

Lifestyle retailer Fat Face has reported a 13% increase in December sales, driven by a full-price strategy and strong online sales.

In store retail sales for the five weeks to January 3 were up by 5%, while online sales soared by 25% year-on-year.

Click-and-collect orders peaked at 42% during the period, up 119% on 2013, and 65% of visits were on mobile devices, compared to 55% last year.

Anthony Thompson, chief executive of Fat Face, said: ““We have seen a strong multichannel performance over the Christmas trading period where we maintained our stance of not discounting prior to our Boxing Day Sale. 

“This Christmas was a watershed moment for online, with a number of new trends reflecting the demand for convenience from time-poor customers. Our focus remains firmly on our customers who continue to trust in the price integrity associated with Fat Face, while benefiting from a genuine Boxing Day Sale. ”

However, the business was impacted by the “unseasonably warm weather” in the second quarter of its financial year. Total sales for the 26 weeks to November 29 remained flat at £99m, while total EBITDA for the half was also broadly flat at £19.2m, up from £19.6m in 2013.

Ecommerce sales were up by 11% during the half and now represent 16% of overall sales, compared to 14% last year.

Store estate square footage increased by 7% with two new stores, four relocations, one refit and three extensions during the period, creating a total store portfolio of 210, compared to 208 in 2013. Two new stores opened in December bringing the total to 212.

Thompson added: “After a strong first quarter in which we faced strong comparatives from the prior year, we were impacted by the difficult trading conditions for the remainder of the half, as the warm weather persisted across the UK. We have continued to improve and expand our store footprint with some fantastic new stores, as well as strategic relocations, which have allowed us to showcase a broader product range to our customers.”

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