Refurbishment kills profits at posh department store Harvey Nichols

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Harvey NicholsHarvey Nichols flagship Knightsbridge store.

  • The luxury department store had flat revenue and made a loss of £7.6 million in the year to April.
  • Harvey Nichols blames refurbishment of its flagship Knightsbridge store for the performance.

LONDON – Upmarket department store Harvey Nichols swung to a £7.6 million loss last year as a costly refurbishment of its flagship site hit sales and pushed up costs.

Accounts for Broad Gain (UK), the vehicle which owns Harvey Nichols, blamed the refurbishment of the flagship Knightsbridge store for a 0.6% fall in group turnover to £193 million. The department store spent £10.6 million in the year, most of which went on the refurbishment.

As a result of the work, which closed parts of the stores for a period, the company slipped from a pre-tax profit of £2.5 million in 2016 to a pre-tax loss of £7.6 million in the year to April 2017. Harvey Nichols had net assets of £148.9 million at the end of the period.

Founded in 1831, Harvey Nichols is known for its high-end clientele and stocks luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Chanel. The department store has eight locations across the UK and employs over 1,700 people.

Harvey Nichols said it is facing “increased competition from retailers that exclusively operate online” and said the current trading environment remains “uncertain.” But it said trading so far this year has been in-line with expectations.

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