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FACTBOX-Festive cheer falls flat for some British retailers


FACTBOX-Festive cheer falls flat for some British retailers
Representative image Image Credit: Pixabay

Britain's retailers reported mixed results for the critical Christmas period, with major supermarkets suffering their slowest festive season in years and retailers varied in their performance.

British shoppers cut back on spending in late 2019, rounding off the worst year since at least the mid-1990s for retail sales as measured by an industry group amid uncertainty about Brexit and last month's election. That followed relatively subdued updates from the high street following "Black Friday" sales at the end of November.

Following are highlights by sector: SUPERMARKETS:

LIDL The British arm of the German discount supermarket group said on Jan. 10 its total sales rose 11% in the four weeks to Dec. 29.

TESCO Britain's biggest retailer ground out a 0.1% rise in underlying sales in its home market on Jan. 9 during what it said was a "subdued" Christmas for spending.

SAINSBURY'S Britain's No. 2 supermarket group reported a slight drop in underlying sales on Jan. 8 as weak demand for general merchandise overshadowed solid food sales.

MORRISONS The country's fourth-largest supermarket group reported another fall in underlying sales over Christmas on Jan. 7 as a tough economic backdrop and sustained consumer uncertainty deterred shoppers from splashing out.

ALDI the British arm of the German discount supermarket said on Jan. 6 sales growth in the four weeks to Dec. 24 was driven by strong demand for beer, wine, and spirits.

DEPARTMENT STORES, HOMEWARE, AND CLOTHES: HALFORDS

The bicycles retailer said on Jan. 16 it sold a record number of children's bikes in the week before Christmas. N BROWN

The plus-sized fashion retailer on Jan. 16 forecasts lower-than-expected annual profit, hurt by poor performance at its financial services unit and more discounting in the market. MOSS BROS

The suit retailer forecast an annual pretax loss, hurt by fewer customers visiting its stores. ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODS

The company kept its annual earnings outlook on Jan. 16, partly due to solid growth at its Primark fashion chain in the Christmas period. QUIZ

The fast-fashion retailer on Jan. 15 said good sales over the Black Friday week had not stretched into the seven weeks covering Christmas to Jan. 4. BOOHOO

The online fashion retailer reported robust Christmas sales on Jan. 14, outperforming rivals. SUPERDRY

The fashion brand warned on its annual profit on Jan. 10 after sales during the Christmas period fell short of its expectations. JOULES

The fashion retailer warned on Jan. 10 that its 2020 profit would be significantly below market expectations as online retail sales suffered during Christmas. B&M

The company, which sells everything from furniture to food, said on Jan. 10 its sales growth slowed in the Christmas quarter due to a tough market. JOHN LEWIS

Britain's best-known store chain on Jan. 9 cut its annual profit forecast after weak Christmas sales. MARKS & SPENCER

The retailer on Jan. 9 said its performance over the Christmas quarter was held back by the waste in its food business and weak sales of menswear and gifts. DUNELM

The homewares retailer forecast a near 20% jump in first-half earnings, as it avoided discounting during the holiday season. NEXT

The clothing retailer raised its full-year profit forecast on Jan. 3 after a better-than-expected Christmas performance. PUBS & RESTAURANTS:

Whitbread The Premier Inn owner on Jan. 16 reported a 1.3% drop in third-quarter UK like-for-like sales, as Britons delayed travel plans amid Brexit uncertainty.

CITY PUB GROUP The pub's operator on Jan. 13 forecast full-year core earnings slightly below consensus, as holiday period sales were hurt by uncertainty ahead of the December election and a lackluster Rugby World Cup.

MITCHELLS & BUTLERS The pub and restaurant operator reported strong sales for the festive season on Jan. 9, as more diners opted for its pricier healthy menu options.

GENERAL: THEWORKS.CO.UK

The gifts and stationery retailer on Jan. 16 said it saw growth in online and store sales in the Christmas period, helped by new products and Frozen 2 merchandize. CARD FACTORY

The greeting card retailer on Jan. 9 forecasts lower annual earnings as the December general election and weak consumer confidence hurt its Christmas performance.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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