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Warning signs in Christmas retail sales figures

Monday 14 January 2019

DR GORDON Fletcher, retail expert for the University of Salford Business School, comments on the various retails sales figures over the Christmas period, which have been announced today.

Dr Fletcher said: “As the Christmas sales figures come in from the high street this year there are clearly winners and losers. Details will continue to emerge over the next couple of weeks but already there is a clear pattern.

“The winners include Lidl, Aldi, ASDA and Tesco. All saw slight increases in sales over the period.

“Among the losers are Sainsburys (including Argos), Debenhams, Mothercare and Halfords.

“This mix points to a challenge in the sustainability of department stores whose retailing mix is not primarily focused on food and perishable items. 

“However, there is a second part to this story and potentially there are no winners. All retailers have flagged the issue of deep discounting over the Christmas period. 

“A practice that is not sustainable and has direct impact on the overall profitability of retail business models. Combined with zero year-on-year sales growth across the sector and the warning signs remain that the issues for retail are not seasonal or so easily dismissed as consumer Brexit jitters.”

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Sam Wood

0161 295 5361