Upmarket London department store Liberty will make its fashion collections available to buy online by the end of the year as part of a plan to drive its mail-order business.
The Liberty website launched in March and sells fabrics, homewares and accessories. The fashion offer will be added in two phases over the next year, with the first batch online by the end of the year.
Finance director Paul Harris said: “People have been regularly buying online since the site’s launch and we are well placed, with our heritage and global brand awareness, to take further advantage.”
Sales at Liberty, which is on Great Marlborough Street in central London, rose by £21.7 million for the six months to June 30, from £20.5m for the same period the previous year.
Pre-tax losses at the business rose to £4.2m from £2.2m over the period. The firm said that one-off costs, including £2m on opening a flagship store in July on London’s Sloane Street for its Liberty of London own brand, and £900,000 on restructuring the business, had hit profits.
Harris said restructuring had been completed and that the spring 09 womenswear collections would show the result of the new buying team under head of fashion buying Olivia Richardson.
He added: “We have quite aggressive targets for our three-year plan and expect the business to look a lot better.”