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House of Fraser forecasts sales lift and boosts multi-channel offer

Department store House of Fraser has forecast a 7% increase in first half sales and announced the introduction of a range of multi-channel initiatives in a bid to improve the customer experience.

House of Fraser is on track to deliver a like-for-like sales increase of 7% in the six months to July, driven by own brand lines such as Linea, Episode and Kenneth Cole, according to the Sunday Express. In February it restructured its borrowings to allow it buy more stock. It has been following a strategy to move away from concessions to own-brands to drive margins.

The department store group is also due to launch a raft of online initiatives including allowing customers to order items from its website and collect them in store.

The Buy and Collect service, which will launch in September, follows a customer survey which found over half of respondents wanted to be able to order online but collect from a bricks and mortar store.

House of Fraser is also increasing its multi-channel offering by launching an ‘Order in Store’ trial in its London Westfield store, where sales assistants can place orders online on behalf of customers if the products are unavailable in store.

The department store will also allow online customers living within the M25 the option of same day delivery. International deliveries will be introduced later this year.

House of Fraser said its transactional website continues to see sales grow in excess of 100% year -on-year.

The department store sells 650 brands online and 125,000 individual items.

Robin Terrell, executive director for multi-channel and international at House of Fraser who joined the department store from rival John Lewis in February, said: “We know that our multi-channel customers spend twice as much with us than those who only shop in store so it is critical we respond to this in order for us to continue to meet our customers’ needs. By introducing ‘Buy and Collect’ and same day delivery, we are improving the convenience of shopping online.”

He added: “Order in store raises the profile of the website and makes it more relevant to our customers, even when they are in our stores. With these initiatives, coupled with the continual improvements to the website itself, we are confident multi-channel will continue to be a key growth driver for our business.”

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