Record Christmas for Debenhams

Department store group Debenhams reported a strong trading performance for the 19 weeks to January 9, with the Christmas week achieving record sales.

The retailer said less discounting and a lower level of promotional activity led to full price sales growth of 5%, supported by a planned reduction in stock levels across clothing, particularly in weather-sensitive categories. Like-for-like sales grew 1.9% and online sales were up 12% in the period.

Black Friday traded ‘successfully and profitably, with good year-on-year growth both in stores and online’. Debenhams chief executive Michael Sharp said: “We have traded well in the first 19 weeks of the financial year, with a strong performance over peak resulting in a record Christmas.

“This performance is evidence that our strategy is working, with our customers finding our mix of products and brands both compelling and great value for money. The further improvements to our service proposition and our online presentation have delivered strong multi-channel sales growth, building on the progress we saw last year. We remain on track to deliver full year profits in line with market expectations.”

Five new stores opened between September and November 2015 in Bradford, Wandsworth, Rugby, Beverley and Newport.

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