Beales says Christmas promotional strategy paid off
Beales may be among the smaller UK department store chains with only 21 locations but it seems to have had a better Christmas than some of its larger peers with turnover up 4.2% in the six-week period.
Like others, the South of England-focused chain was very promotional during the trading season but it also seems to have reacted nimbly to sales trends.
Reporting a 4.2% comparable sales rise, CEO Tony Brown told local media that the promotions helped it retain customer interest and that “every time we tried a promotion that worked, we continued it until it stopped working and then committed to another one.”
He also hailed the impact of Facebook for reaching customers during the season and its email campaigns in driving sales of specific items. The company had to re-stock some product lines after seeing popular products selling out.
Its social media and email marketing helped fashion sales rise, which seems to have been something of a rarity for UK department stores this Christmas. Brown said menswear did “particularly well”.
Importantly too, the January clearance sale period “which is just as important as Christmas, continues to significantly outperform,” he told the Bournemouth Echo.
It all underlines the firm’s fast-response strategy over the season as a whole with daily conference calls to see what promotions were working and the firm even delaying a planned pre-Christmas clearance due to stronger-than-expected sales.
The privately-held business was acquired for a tiny £1.2 million by property investor Andrew Perloff three years ago when it was struggling and subsequently closed 20 stores.
But since then, it has seen regular investment, which is ongoing, and has been quietly bouncing back at a time when larger chains have struggled.
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