Online sales surge play key part in profit return

Independent department store retailer Oldrids & Downtown has reported a return to profit, despite sales experiencing a slight decline.

According to its latest filed accounts for the year ended 25 January 2020, total sales fell 4.7% to £34.2m from £35.9m in 2019.

Gross profit increased from £13.8m to £14.1m, while pre-tax profit resulted at £124,000, significantly improving compared to its loss of £544,000 recorded the previous year.

Stated within its report, the company said that growing its online business played a key part in its return to profit, while a focus on driving profitable sales within its five stores also contributed.

For the stores themselves, Oldrids in Boston saw sales decline 7.3%, while Downtown Boston experienced a reduction of 8%. Stores in Grantham, Downtown Garden Centre and in Scunthorpe all saw sales slip 4.3%, 5.3% and 4.3% respectively.

However, online sales rocketed, up by 86.1%.

The business added that despite facing significant challenges and following a number of years of loss-making trading, the return to profit was a “noteworthy achievement”.