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Online sales help House of Fraser return to profitability

18 April 2016 - 12:13 by Sarah Collinson

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In the past 12 months, House of Fraser saw a 4.5 per cent rise in sales across both its online and bricks and mortar operations. And with a 26.8 per cent increase in e-commerce sales alone, the firm managed to make a pre-tax profit for the first time in a decade, according to Internet Retailing.

Almost a fifth of all items purchased from House of Fraser last year were sold via safe shopping online, meaning that the internet is an increasingly important part of its business and the one thing which is helping it to counteract the flat growth seen on the high street.

House of Fraser has made active attempts to improve its digital offerings, investing in an updated website and enhancing the IT infrastructures that support its e-commerce solutions, in order to better satisfy the needs of customers from around the world, not just in the UK.

It has also made click and collect services more widely available, meaning customers can order items via safe shopping online and then pick them up in-store on the same day. This, of course, has the added advantage of making sure that customers have a reason to visit the firm’s bricks and mortar outlets, even if they start their shopping journey on the internet.

Spokesperson, Nigel Oddy, said that House of Fraser is making good progress both online and off, in spite of the tricky climate that the retail sector has found itself in over the last few months.

He also said that investments made in e-commerce improvements came in tandem with store updates and the opening of new locations that feed into the new persona of the retailer as a whole.

House of Fraser will be spending more money to bolster its website and stores this year, with earlier investments justified by the profits posted in 2016.