Jigsaw Christmas trading better than expected as it ignores Black Friday

Jigsaw enjoyed a fairly strong Christmas trading period, which must be good news for the chain that had seen intense speculation over a possible cash crunch in the weeks leading up to December 25.


In the event, the fashion retailer made it through and managed to turn in a 7% year-on-year sales rise for the five weeks to December 31. And even more impressively, its online sales were a big contributor to the total with a surge of 34%. 

The company hailed its earlier decision not the join the discounting frenzy around Black Friday as a key reason for its Christmas success.

While the firm clearly enjoyed a more buoyant trading period than might have been expected at its main mid-market chain, its luxury operation did even better. Jigsaw owns The Shop at Bluebird fashion concept store and sales there rose 16% in the Christmas period.

The company also said a gifts collaboration with chocolatier Rococo gave an extra boost to its performance with group CEO Peter Ruis citing the “compelling offer around fashion and gifting” as important over the Christmas period.

Also important was the firm’s Australian operation where sales leapt 61%, despite the much publicised challenges for fashion retailers in that market.

The company’s core ops are in the UK where it has over 80 stores and concessions, but it also operates concessions in Jersey, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland.

Its Christmas performance certainly impressed analysts with GlobalData’s Kate Ormrod saying that its refusal to be drawn into “the murky world of Black Friday discounting,” was the right thing to do. 

She added: “While [it] did engage in some promotional activity in the run up to Christmas, its deals of up to 50% off accessories and up to 30% of partywear from mid-December were considerably tamer than others on the high street. Jigsaw’s launch of its seasonal sale online on Christmas Eve and in-store on Boxing Day shows how much the retailer held its nerve amid a frenzied promotional backdrop.”

Ormrod thinks its premium positioning will have “protected” it as shoppers “are keen to trade up for enhanced quality and design for gifting purchases.” She also cited its pro-immigration marketing campaign as helping to win it more consumer attention.

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