Selfridges to make 100m

Selfridges, the London luxury department store group, is today expected to unveil profits of &pound;100m in its 100th year as the store is buoyed by a surge of wealthy overseas shoppers taking advantage of the weak pound.<br /><br />The retailer, which also has stores in Manchester and Birmingham&rsquo;s Bullring centre and plans to open another in Glasgow when the recession ends, reported profits of &pound;88m last year. <br /><br />The group is believed to be already enjoying a festive boost as sales of toys have soared by 27 per cent on last year and Christmas decorations have risen by 36 per cent as British consumers have become more confident about their discretionary spending budget.<br /><br />Figures due to be filed at Companies House today are expected to show that Selfridges generated &pound;809m of sales in the year to January 2009, up six per cent on the previous year. Trading profit for the same period was &pound;88.1m, an eight per cent increase on the previous year.<br /><br />The group also hit headlines earlier this month as it reported demand for designer corsets is outstripping supply as women across the country try to emulate their celebrity fashion icons like Lady Gaga.<br /><br />Selfridges said sales of its luxury fashion corsets were up 70 per cent as stocks of Bordelle&rsquo;s &pound;900 feather girdle sold out in 24 hours at its Oxford Street store in central London.<br /><br />And the group said luxury lingerie sales were up across the country, with the average spend increasing by 16 per cent compared with this time last year at Selfridges&rsquo; stores in Birmingham, London and Manchester.<br /><br />Helen Attwood, Selfridges&rsquo; head buyer for lingerie, said: &ldquo;The trend for underwear worn as outerwear is more popular than ever with customers investing more in fashion that adds a touch of spice to everyday life.&rdquo;<br /><br />Selfridges this weekend held a &ldquo;Christmas Comes Early&rdquo; promotion that offered 20 per cent off on goods. Last year the high street became awash with deep discounting as retailers were forced to match their rivals price offers. It is believed there will be the same level of promotions this year.