If you exclude Frasers’ non-UK and European retail operations, its full-year results weren’t that bad considering they included a few months of lockdown disruption. However, sales growth has principally been driven by acquisitions which begs the question of how Frasers would fare in a year when it can’t find anything to buy.
“Unsurprisingly the online channel is getting a greater focus with a £100 million-plus investment. While there is no doubting that online is the way forward for retailers, one must question if Frasers’ consumers would load their virtual basket with as many items as they would browsing a physical store, said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould.
“Frasers’ pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap model worked wonders in the old world of retail, but scrolling through pages of items on a website can become tiresome unless the customer is in the right mindset to want to do a sizeable shop. That might explain why Frasers is paying more attention to the premium market.
“This strategy is likely to improve gross margins as it shifts towards the sale of higher-priced products, as well as opening new flagship stores and taking existing stores upmarket in order to make them more appealing to third party brands, notably Nike and Adidas.”