Harvey Nichols bucks UK department-store trend

Upscale UK department store Harvey Nichols doubled its pre-tax earnings this year to £14.7 million – a stark contrast to rival chains.

Group sales rose 9 per cent to £210 million during the year to March 31, the retailer’s high-end positioning seemingly shielding it from the challenges facing companies like House of Fraser, John Lewis and Debenhams, all struggling to achieve growth or profitability.

Harvey Nichols says its Kensington flagship store delivered a “strong performance” following refurbishment, but that trading generally remained tough.

“We are extremely pleased to see a strong financial performance last year, and our ambitious Knightsbridge store refurbishment plans have had a positive impact,” said joint COOs Manju Malhotra and Daniela Rinaldi.

“However, the retail environment remains challenging and competitive. With this uncertain outlook, we are focused for the remainder of this year on continuing to drive sales and delivering an omnichannel experience for our customers.”

The revamp of the flagship commenced two years ago with the menswear department and the company has just completed the womenswear international section.

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