Young social media savvy power Frasers
Luxury brand: Balmain is sold by Flannels
High Street empire Frasers Group is cashing in as younger, social media-obsessed shoppers spend on must-haves.
As the firm behind Sports Direct and House of Fraser reported a 40 per cent rise in annual profits to £478m, its boss Michael Murray said teenagers and 20-somethings want to remain ‘socially relevant’.
The 33-year-old, son-in-law of founder and largest shareholder Mike Ashley, said many younger homebuyers live with their parents, so they are “not as exposed” to painful spikes in their mortgages and energy bills.
“If you take a 17-year-old who is obsessed with football, who plays every Sunday and admires Ronaldo and Messi, he wants to buy the best football boots for around £250. The same goes for luxury.
“Young people have been educated on the brands, seeing influencers, musicians and footballers using these products. They want to be socially and culturally relevant.’ Murray, who took over as Ashley’s chief executive last year, said many are “obsessed with social media,” brands and “social status.”
Sales rose 15% to £5.5bn for the year to April 30. Total sales of Frasers, whose brands include Jack Wills, Missguided, Flannels and Evans Cycles, rose 15% to £5.5bn.
Murray praised his response to the cost of living crisis.
“It’s not that we’re immune, we’ve just diversified very well,” he said.
“You can go to Flannels and buy something more affordable or super luxurious, depending on what your financial circumstances are – buy £200 or £50 sneakers. I hope we’re past the worst of [the cost of living crisis] but I can’t say for sure.