British clothing brands Joules and Fat Face have bucked the high street gloom by reporting strong sales over the Christmas season.
Joules, a recently listed retail chain popular with middle class women in London and the home counties, said its total sales rose 19.2 per cent over the seven weeks to January compared to the same period last year.
The company, known for its colourful rainwear, floral tunics and casual blazers, said it had achieved the sales increase without heavily slashing prices to shift stock. “Retail gross margin, over the same period, is expected to be in line with the prior year as we maintained our disciplined and selective approach to promotional activity,” Joules said.
Fat Face, another casualwear retailer whose womens’ range often combines tunics with long cardigans and heavy boots, said its total Christmas sales had risen 12 per cent on last year. Its online revenues rose 24 per cent and it had a record week of full price sales in the seven days to December 23.
The last several days have seen a flurry up festive updates from high street retailers, with several reporting that British consumers have been tightening their belts. Mothercare and Debenhams have warned on profits, while retailing stalwart Marks and Spencer is expected to say on Thursday that both its clothing and food sales declined during its most recent quarter.
Clothing sales have appeared to buck the trend, however, following a cold snap in the run-up to Christmas. Full priced sales at mid-range clothing chain Next rose 1.5 per cent year-on-year, in the eight weeks before Christmas Eve, confounding analysts who had forecast a slight decline in revenues.
Get alerts on Joules Group PLC when a new story is published