Jan 11, 2018

M&S, John Lewis and Tesco report mixed fortunes at Christmas

John Lewis revealed a 3.1 per cent increase in like-for-like sales, as the department store operator threw off the gloom hanging over rivals. Tesco reported a 1.9 per cent sales increase in its Christmas trading period, which ended on January 6, although that was markedly behind analyst expectations of 3.2 per cent, registered in a Reuters poll. The chain's grocery unit, once seen as a prop for a clothing business that has struggled for years to hit its stride, registered a 0.4 per cent decline in existing store sales, compounding the difficulties for M&S in a quarter when same-store clothing sales also retreated 2.8 per cent. M&S "Looks set to be the worst-performing food retailer for Christmas 2017", said Honor Strachan, principal retail analyst at GlobalData. House of Fraser on Thursday said it had suffered a 2.9 per cent reversal in the six weeks before Christmas, including a 7.5 per cent hit online, even as more consumers switched to internet shopping.

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