Retailers have enjoyed a better-than-expected Christmas trading season as a flurry of updates this week and last week confirmed that shoppers were happy to spend money during the festive season.
Figures from some of the UK’s biggest retailers showed the sector enjoyed impressive trading despite fears sparked last week by Next’s dismal performance.
However, there have been several warnings for the year ahead as rising prices from the post-Brexit vote weakened pound and slow wage growth pose a threat to the retail sector and consumer confidence.
After what has been a manic “Super-Thursday” today, the Retail Gazette has compiled a definitive list of every retail Christmas update:
In the four months to December 31, the online retailer’s international sales figures shot up by a vast 52 per cent to £362 million due to the weak pound, including an 18 per cent UK boost to £244 million. They now forecast their full-year sales to be around 30 per cent higher than previously expected.
Primark saw an 11 per cent jolt in sales over the Christmas period, or 22 per cent at actual exchange rates. The company attributed this jump in sales to a 16 per cent increase in retail space in the 16 weeks to January 7. Analysts predict the revenue to double over the next five years.
Full year profits are expected to be 15 per cent higher than City predictions, spurred on by a like-for-like sales boost of 10 per cent in the half year to January 7. With the newly-altered predictions, yearly underlying profits will now hit £200 million, up from £157 million previously expected, marking the third consecutive year of double-digit growth.
A 20.6 per cent spike in retail revenues to £162.1 million and 14.9 per cent like-for-like growth in the 10 weeks to January 7, with the sterling’s weakness and the opening of nine new stores driving growth. Results for the half-year period ending October 29 indicated a 31.1 per cent leap in group revenues to £334 million and underlying pre-tax profits up by 8.8 per cent to £21 million.
Retail like-for-like sales were up by 12.8 per cent, slightly lower than the 17.2 per cent growth recorded in 2015.
For the 52 weeks ending October 1, the retailer’s revenue went down by 4.2 per cent from £166.8 million to £159.8 million year-on-year, but its profit before tax increased by 1.1 per cent from £10.1 million to £10.3 million, a 1.1 per cent uptick.
Shoe Zone’s overall multichannel revenue went up by 11 per cent, the average transaction value improved by five per cent, and product gross margin strengthened to 62 per cent – up from 61.5 per cent in the previous financial year.
Joules recorded strong sales in its seven-week period to January 8, with 22.8 per growth in total sales compared to the same period last year. Retail gross margin rate is