Sales at Arnotts break €75m mark as Sel­fridges con­tin­ues to in­vest

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Sa­man­tha Mc­caugh­ren

SALES at Arnotts in­creased by 5.3pc last year up to €75.3m fol­low­ing con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in the Dublin de­part­ment store which is now owned by the Sel­fridges Group.

There are sev­eral new de­vel­op­ments planned for the shop, in­clud­ing the ar­rival of exclusive per­fume brand Jo Malone early next month, while a new lin­gerie de­part­ment will open in spring of 2018.

Ac­counts, which will be filed shortly at the Com­pa­nies Of­fices, show there was a gross profit of €40.1m, up 3.5pc.

Dur­ing the year, Arnotts in­vested €2.5m in cap­i­tal projects, an in­crease of over €1m on the pre­vi­ous year, which in­cluded the in­tro­duc­tion of a range of new brands such as Mac and Char­lotte Til­bury, store im­prove­ments and tech­nol­ogy up­grades.

Op­er­at­ing profit was hit by this in­vest­ment, which in­cluded the hir­ing of ad­di­tional staff and other one-off ex­pen­di­ture, re­sult­ing in a loss of €523,000.

When in­ter­est and other in­come is in­cluded, Arnotts recorded a pre-tax profit of €204,000. Em­ployee num­bers grew by 39 to 526, across both re­tail sales and man­age­ment and ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The com­pany said the trad­ing out­look for 2017 looked “very en­cour­ag­ing” and fur­ther sig­nif­i­cant growth is ex­pected across the re­main­der of the year and into 2018.

Beauty, wom­enswear and ac­ces­sories and home­ware are all performing well. In Au­gust 2017, the Sel­fridges Group, which also owns the Brown Thomas group in Ire­land, pro­vided Arnotts with a €4m in­vest­ment for dig­i­tal and store in­vest­ment.

US fur­ni­ture and home­ware re­tailer West Elm, a divi­sion of Williams–sonoma, is open­ing in Arnotts in Novem­ber — a first in Ire­land.

“It has been an­other strong year of progress for Arnotts. In par­tic­u­lar, we’ve made con­sid­er­able ad­vance­ments in our re­fur­bish­ment and on­line pro­gramme,” said man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Don­ald Mcdon­ald.

“We con­tinue to at­tract a grow­ing num­ber of new cus­tomers, which is mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to our rev­enue.”

Sel­fridges group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Paul Kelly said: “It’s been a great year for Arnotts, which is be­ing mir­rored in the very en­cour­ag­ing re­sults. The per­for­mance con­tin­ues the pos­i­tive up­ward mo­men­tum across the business and re­flects the on­go­ing in­vest­ment across the store to en­hance the shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence for cus­tomers.”

Emma Ka­vanagh from Drogheda who works in the women’s sec­tion in Arnotts. Photo: Frank Mc­grath

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