LONDON — Major expansion and refurbishment plans dented Selfridges’ operating profit 1.9 percent in the 2015-16 fiscal year, although gross sales rose 5 percent in the 12-month period.
The British department store group said operating profit amounted to 152 million pounds, or $231 million, in line with expectations as it unveiled the two initial phases of an ongoing retail revamp of its Oxford Street flagship.
Gross sales were up 5 percent to 1.4 billion pounds, or $2.13 billion. All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.
In a month’s time, the store plans to reveal phase one of its biggest project, the new ground floor accessories hall. The full hall is slated for completion in 2018.
As reported, Selfridges is investing 300 million, or $372 million, over five years in overhauling its Oxford Street flagship, and updating its Manchester and Birmingham units and omnichannel offer.
Paul Kelly, managing director of Selfridges Group, called the year ended Jan. 31, 2016 “strong” due to the store’s decision to strengthen both its bricks-and-mortar and online offer with a big capital expenditure program.
Anne Pitcher, Selfridges’ managing director, said the store was happy with the performance in a challenging market, and said all the investments are aimed at creating a seamless experience for the customer.
Selfridges released the numbers ahead of its annual filing with Companies House, the official register of U.K. businesses.
Earlier this year, Selfridges on Oxford Street opened the Body Studio, a 37,000-square-foot space dedicated to women of various sizes and figures.
It was the first major unveiling in the five-year redevelopment project announced two years ago and is Selfridges’ largest-ever department. It carries a range of off-duty clothing, such as lingerie and swimwear, pajamas and high-performance sports gear.
In July, the store created the Designer Studio, which shows men’s and women’s wear side-by-side; highlights items rather than brands; and changes its special configuration every season. The 17,200-square-foot space also has a T-shirt shop at its heart and six large, arty installations-cum-retail fixtures dotted throughout.
The 300 million pounds investment has also gone toward the Oxford Street store’s denim and contemporary zones.