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Sales up but investment hits profits at Selfridges

Sales at Selfridges rose 5% to £1.4bn in the year to 30 January, but its operating profits dropped 1.9% to £152m as it invested in revamping its grade II listed Oxford Street store.

Richfoto 2016 07 selfridges designer studio 16

Selfridges Designer Studio

Selfridges unveiled its new Designer Studio in July

Selfridges said its stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester had performed “above average” during the period. Online sales also improved.

However, the £300m refurbishment of the Oxford Street store, which will complete in spring 2018, hit its bottom line. 

It unveiled a new 20,000 sq ft Designer Studio in July, three months after it launched a new 37,000 sq ft Body Studio. The focus now is on revamping the accessories department, which is due to reopen next month.

Anne Pitcher, managing director of Selfridges UK, said the refurbishment programme was “the biggest single capital investment by a department store anywhere in the world”.

She added: “I firmly believe that the continued investment in our stores to create a real reason for people to go shopping, supported and accompanied by a great website allowing 24/7 access around the world, is the absolute win for any great retail brand of tomorrow. I think we are on that journey.”

Pitcher said there is further investment to come in the Manchester store, as well as the website.

The comments were made in documents due to be filed at Companies House, seen by The Times.

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