Fashion retailer New Look has reported a 9.1 per cent year-on-year drop in UK like-for-like (LFL) sales for the 15 weeks to January 8th 2011.
December’s snow, which slowed footfall across the country, as well as the overall challenging economic environment, was blamed by the company for the trading slump.
Total group sales were down 3.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2009, although Hitwise figures indicate that New Look’s internet sales in the week to January 8th represented a healthy 3.3 per cent share of the online fashion market.
This morning’s trading statement estimated that the snow in December contributed to a total sales reduction of around £15 million, as well as reducing UK LFLs by approximately three per cent.
New Look has continued with its refurbishment and upgrade programme, though, with four out of the five UK store openings during the 15 weeks being relocations.
Additionally, the new 30,000 sq ft flagship in Dublin’s Jervis Centre, boasting new look in-store technology, began trading impressively in the build-up to Christmas.
CEO of New Look Carl McPhail commented: “Trading conditions in the UK have continued to be challenging and the adverse weather in December significantly affected footfall and spending patterns.
“The outlook for 2011 is uncertain and we remain cautious about the impact of the recent VAT increase and government cuts on consumer spending.”