LONDON — Harvey Nichols is reaping the rewards of its retail investments, posting a 9 percent uptick in revenues and more than doubling its profit after tax in the fiscal year ended March 30.
Revenue rose to 228.8 million pounds, while profit hit 1.6 million pounds, driven primarily by the launch of the new women’s wear international designer floor in the Knightsbridge flagship, which opened in June 2018.
The opening of the women’s wear room followed the refurbishment of the men’s wear department, beauty floor and designer accessories hall, all of which opened in 2016.
Online was also a key driver of growth. The store said that “continued investment in enhancing customer experience and digital marketing, alongside IT and logistics” contributed to the uptick in sales. In the year ended March 2019, capital expenditure climbed 213 percent to 5.3 million pounds.
The store said the fashion business grew across all product categories, while beauty and beauty services continue to perform well. Fiscal 2018-19 was the second consecutive year of strong growth despite a tough retail environment and ongoing economic uncertainty in the U.K., Harvey Nichols said.
Manju Malhotra and Daniela Rinaldi, joint chief operating officers, called the performance strong “particularly in light of a challenging and uncertain retail landscape. We continued to focus on delivering a luxury shopping experience, with substantial investment in our IT infrastructure and online business, all of which contributed to our top-line growth.”
As reported last March, Harvey Nichols inked a multi-year deal with Farfetch that allows customers to shop Harvey Nichols on the digital platform. Harvey Nichols is able to tap into Farfetch’s e-commerce and logistics and has introduced services such as in-store returns and same-day deliveries.
Although Harvey Nichols was the first major U.K. store to create a mobile app for its customer loyalty program, it was not a digitally native retailer, which is why Farfetch’s offer of worldwide exposure, rapid delivery services and tech and data tools was so attractive.
In its physical stores, the retailer has been putting the focus on a wider range of contemporary, Instagram-friendly labels that complement its luxury offering and by upping the ante when it comes to beauty and lifestyle services.
Harvey Nichols put its ground floor on the retail map after scoring a U.K. exclusive with Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and debuting a new sleeker, refurbished section that offers an array of beauty services, from LED facials to Daniel Hersheson blow-dries and Boudoir lash extensions.
Among other strategies, the company has been seeking to leverage the traffic of its beauty department by building a world of contemporary accessories on the same floor, while international luxury accessories are moving to the designer floor upstairs.
The aim is to cater to social media-driven customers’ appetite for accessibly priced, styling pieces that are popular on Instagram.