Sep 14, 2017

Opening Quote: Next tries to crack a smile; Morrison’s; Thomas Cook

"I'm marginally less pessimistic than I was three months ago" was his cheery sales pitch in August, after a surprisingly good 11 per cent rise in digital sales offset an accelerating decline on the high street. Its own brand full-price sales in the first half were down 1.2 per cent and total sales including those at marked-down prices were down 2.3 per cent on last year, in line with previous guidance. Overall like for like sales, excluding fuel, climbed 3 per cent - an improvement on the 2.4 per cent and 1.4 per cent growth in the previous two half-year periods. Finally, Thomas Cook has stressed the importance of online to high street names by announcing a tie-up with US travel website Expedia. This will give Thomas Cook customers access to 60,000 more hotels, and help Thomas Cook to deal with that business line more efficiently.

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