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Gloucestershire Business News

Christmas sales down at Debenhams

Debenhams saw sales drop over Christmas, but insists it is still on track to meet full-year profits targets.

For the six-week period ending 5th January, the retailer, which has a store in Gloucester, recorded a 3.4 per cent drop in like-for-like sales, as reported by Retail Gazette.

This compares to a like-for-like sales growth of 2.9 per cent during the Christmas 2017 trading period.

However, the department store chain said weak store footfall was offset by a six per cent growth in online sales.

The figures for the autumn period make even more worrying reading - with a 5.7 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in the 18 weeks to 5th January. UK sales were hit hardest, falling by 6.2 per cent, while international sales fell by 3.5 per cent.

Debenhams said the results are down to tough trading conditions in the UK, but said it still expects to deliver current year profits in line with market expectations. The company said it has a plan to stay competitive and to protect its business for the future.

Punchline said: "Despite Debenhams' optimism, these results don't look good for either Debenhams or Gloucester. Gloucester's store is the last remaining Debenhams in the county and has been a big part of the retail landscape in the city for many years. Debenhams announced last year that it will be closing a number of stores  and it will be a sad day for Gloucester if our store closes. Only time will tell if it is able to escape the cull."

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