Harvey Nichols profits down but weaker sterling stimulates sales

London 2012 - Shopping

A £29 million revamp of the luxury retailer’s flagship store in Knightsbridge has eaten into the store’s profits, taking them down to £2.6m in April from £5.4m the year before.

Harvey Nichols has radically re-imagined its most famous London outlet, in a project that has resulted in the entire menswear section being closed for 10 months.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Harvey Nicks CEO, Stacey Cartwright highlighted the benefits of the weaker pound, which she says had brought a swathe of tourists to the parts of the store that have remained open. Harvey Nichols reported a modest growth in sales, up from £193.1m to £194.5m in May this year. “Traditionally our business attracts 60 per cent to 70 per cent of domestic shoppers and that will be less as the number of tourists rise”, according to Cartwright.

Stacey Cartwright also said that the “heat of disruption” resulting from the refurbishment had taken a toll on the business, which has also been expanding its operations in other UK cities, and overseas.

The iconic Knightsbridge institution first opened doors as a linen shop in 1831. As business grew, the store expanded into neighbouring properties on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street. There are now 14 Harvey Nichols stores, with seven in the UK and another seven abroad.

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