Social media savvy young boost Frasers

Social media savvy young boost Frasers

Luxury brand: Balmain is sold by Flannels

High Street empire Frasers Group is cashing in as social media-obsessed younger shoppers splash out on must-have items.

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 twentysomethings want to stay ‘socially relevant’.

The 33-year-old, who is the son-in-law of founder and biggest shareholder Mike Ashley, said many younger shoppers live with their parents so are ‘not as exposed’ to painful increases in their mortgages and energy bills.

‘If you take a football-obsessed 17-year-old, who plays every Sunday and looks up to Ronaldo and Messi, he wants to buy the best football boots for around £250. The same goes with luxury.

‘Young people have been brought up on brands, seeing influencers, musicians and footballers all wearing these products. They want to be socially and culturally relevant.’ Murray, who took over as chief executive from Ashley last year, said many are ‘obsessed with social media’, brands and ‘social status’.

Sales surged 15 per cent to £5.5billion for the year to April 30. Total sales across Frasers, whose brands include Jack Wills, Missguided, Flannels and Evans Cycles, rose 15 per cent to £5.5billion.

Murray hailed its response to the cost of living crisis.

‘It’s not that we’re immune, we have just diversified very well,’ he said.

‘You can go into Flannels and buy something more affordable or super-luxury, depending on what your financial circumstances are – buy running trainers for £200 or £50. I hope we are through the worst of [the cost of living crisis] but I can’t say for sure.’