Fortnum & Mason sales and profits rise, opens Hong Kong store
Luxe British retailer Fortnum & Mason saw its profits rising 26% in the year to mid-July as the luxury market prospered despite “the most challenging domestic retail backdrop in years”.
Its wider business sales rose 12% to £138 million, with like-for-like revenue at its historic flagship on London’s Piccadilly rising a healthy 6%.
The company is best know for its foods offer but also sells a wide range of gifts and items such as jewellery, luxury perfumes, bath & body care and fashion accessories.
It’s part of the vast holdings owned by Canada’s mega-rich Weston family through Wittington Investments. The same company also has a controlling stake in Primark’s parent company, as well as Heal’s.
Looking further at its performance, the company said online sales were up by 13% and its travel shop at St Pancras International saw a 15% revenue boost during the year.
Although best known for its Piccadilly location, the company has been adding to its store numbers and in addition to its permanent and pop-up locations (such as the current Christmas Arcade at Somerset House), it has just opened its first Asian standalone in Hong Kong.
This may be the worst time possible to open a Hong Kong store, and the location opened with none of the usual fanfare. But the company is clearly focused on a more stable future market there.
CEO Ewan Venters told Sky News that sales there should exceed projections by January and that “an extended period of peace will help.” He added in an interview with The Guardian that "Hong Kong is going to bounce back and be a strong business for us."
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