Selfridges saw sales increase and losses narrow as shoppers returned to its flagship stores after the coronavirus pandemic, according to accounts published at Companies House this week.
Sales across its four stores, website and app grew by 29% to £843.7m in the year to 28 January 2023, up from £653.4m the year before. The improvement was driven by strong footfall at its Oxford Street and Exchange Square stores in particular, the retailer said.
However, increases in its debt and lease liabilities had caused it to fall to a £37.9m loss, down from £121.5m the previous year. The company said the impact was chiefly due to implementation of new IRFS 16 accounting regulations, which had increased to £69.5m, up from £52.1m.
The removal of VAT-free shopping for tourists in 2021 had impacted sales, while business had also continued to feel the impact of Brexit, labour disputes and the knock-on effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine across its supply chain.
The filings by Selfridges Retail, which covers its UK operations, are the first to cover the period since Selfridges group managing director Anne Pitcher stepped down, following the £4bn takeover by the Thai multinational Central Group and Austrian fund Signa Holding in August 2022. Pitcher, who had been in charge of the Selfridges Group since 2019, left the business in December 2022.
The accounts follow reports by The Telegraph in August that the company was consulting with head office staff over a proposed restructure aimed at cutting costs.