We expect sales in the U.K. to continue to outpace the broader retail market, that currently believe that operating income will be under pressure primarily due to the promotional environment. Just as a remainder, in the U.K. Mother’s Day was in March.
The drivers of our performance are our sustainable competitive strengths. In particular, broad customer acceptance of our merchandised offerings, our great customer experience and our investment in marketing. Brand is differentiated and exclusive merchandise continues to perform well and Neil Lane Bridal, Le Vian, Tolkowsky and Charmed Memories have all been particularly strong.
The customer experience remained central to our success and we remained focused on training and development of our store teams, including the best use of in-store sales enhancing technology that is currently being rolled out. Our marketing investment for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day again proved very effective with increased impressions helping to drive strong sales performances and building the value of the brand equity, both our store concepts and our merchandised collections. Also ecommerce performance strongly again with sales up $4.8 million to $22.1 million, an increase of 27.7%.
We continue to focus on our strategic imperatives to drive growth in fiscal 2013 and beyond. To manage the business appropriately including tight expense control, while continuing to implement initiatives that drives long-term shareholder value. The recruitment, training, development, motivation, and retention of our team members is key to sustaining our ability to deliver an outstanding retail experience for our customers.The customer acceptance of our merchandising initiatives remained very positive and we’re always looking for opportunities to grow both new and existing brands and categories to delight both existing and new customers. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com