House of Fraser and Waitrose see strong festive sales

House of Fraser store Image copyright PA

Upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose and department store chain House of Fraser have both reported strong sales over the key Christmas trading period.

Waitrose said like-for-like sales rose 2.8% in the five weeks to 3 January, compared with last year.

House of Fraser, which has 59 shops across the UK and Ireland, said like-for-like sales jumped 8% for the six weeks to 3 January, versus last year.

Sales in the week before Christmas were the 165-year old firm's best ever.

Both retailers' saw a sharp increase in online sales compared to last year, with Waitrose reporting a 26.3% rise in online grocery sales, and House of Fraser seeing a 31.2% jump.

Waitrose, which has 334 shops, is owned by John Lewis, which reported strong festive trading figures on Monday.

"As a business owned by the people who work here, we can take the long-term view and our Christmas results show the effectiveness of our strategy of investing in good value, in making our shops attractive destinations and in building our online business," said managing director Mark Price.

'Well placed for 2015'

House of Fraser's chief executive John King said he was "delighted" with the chain's Christmas trading period.

The firm said it planned to continue to invest in its online offering this year, as well as refurbishing more stores.

"Given this further investment, we believe that we are well placed to continue to grow in 2015," added Mr King.

Last year, the privately held firm sold a majority stake in its business to Chinese conglomerate Sanpower, giving it an 89% share in the company.

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