LONDON — Harvey Nichols is spiffing up its retail spaces with plans to unveil two refurbished men’s wear floors at the Knightsbridge flagship in April, and a new beauty and accessories area before the 2016 Christmas season.
The store sketched out some of its plans as it released its results for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Sales in the 12 months to March 28 were broadly flat, while profits were down 55 percent due to higher costs, investments and administration expenses.
Sales were 193.2 million pounds, or $311.1 million, while profits fell to 5.1 million pounds, or $8.2 million, in the period. All figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the relevant period.
The year under review was the first under the new leadership team with Stacey Cartwright, group chief executive officer, at the helm.
Cartwright said she was pleased that the business had “maintained its top-line financial performance for 2014-15 against a backdrop of an increasingly challenging external environment.”
“We are well advanced now on our exciting journey to revitalize the Harvey Nichols brand with a significant investment program in technology, our physical stores, our digital channel, and in our people, to create a differentiated and compelling customer offer,” she said.
Looking ahead, the company said it anticipates the trading climate for luxury retail “will continue to be uncertain” and that retailers need to work even harder to stand out.
Gross margins remained constant at 56 percent; operating profit before exceptional items was 13.9 million pounds, or $22.4 million, 30 percent lower than last year, “reflecting the preliminary investments that have been made in Harvey Nichols people, the store environment, marketing and technology during the year,” the company said.
The retailer called the 2015-16 refurbishment of the Knightsbridge flagship “aggressive” and said the ground floor beauty and accessories space will undergo a major overhaul before the end of the year.
A new Birmingham store opened in July 2015, and was recognized in November at the Retail Week Interior Awards as Britain’s Best Department Store of the Year.
The store said significant investment was made in the launch of the store’s first loyalty program, Rewards by Harvey Nichols, when a Rewards App was launched in May.
The store also relaunched the Harvey Nichols Web site with improvements to the customer experience. Last fall it launched its Hong Kong site, which complements its two physical stores in the territory.
In the spring, Harvey Nichols plans to extend shipping destinations to other international territories where there is already strong awareness of the brand.