Good festive sales at F. Hinds despite discounting

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Retailer reacts to others’ "reckless attempts" to generate more sales.

High street retailer F. Hinds has described its Christmas trading figures as "good", despite heavy discounting at other UK chain jewellers.

The company, headquartered in Middlesex, said it achieved good trading figures for December and 2013 as a whole, despite what is has dubbed "desperate promotional activity" from other jewellery retailers during the festive trading period.

It is said to have had notble diamond jewellery and coloured gemstone sales, with ring sales strong across both categories.

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F. Hinds director Andrew Hinds said: “We were confident that we were going to perform well without significant discounting over and above our usual seasonal promotions. However, once others lost their nerve, we felt compelled to react as we feel it’s important to show our customers that we offer the best value for money."

Hinds said he felt switching between promotions – something said to have taken place at other multiple retailers in the run up to Christmas – was often counter-productive for jewellery retailers, simply shifting sales from a standard margin period to a reduced margin one, with customers then waiting on promotions rather than spending.

"Fortunately, because we were able to restrict our activity to the areas where we needed to respond to remain competitive, the overall effect on our margin was minimal and we were still able to put on sales increases," Hinds added. “Some jewellery retailers have clearly damaged their margins in a reckless attempt to generate more sales this Christmas and will be left with the question of what to do next year.”

F. Hinds opened a new store in Coventry in October last year taking its total number of shops to 111, and also upgraded its internal stock management systems to a cloud-based program, enabling stores to view other branches’ stock levels.

 

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