January 11, 2018 / 2:21 PM / 2 months ago

Factbox: How Britain's retailers fared over Christmas

(Reuters) - British retailers are giving updates on the key Christmas trading period stretching from “Black Friday” on Nov. 24 to clearance sales in early January.

A Tesco supermarket is seen, in west London on September 30, 2008. . REUTERS/Toby Melville/Files

Following are highlights:

Reported on Jan. 11:


Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco missed forecasts for Christmas trading as strong food sales were undermined by weak demand for general goods such as DVDs and computer games.

John Lewis

British retailer John Lewis warned that trading was likely to remain volatile in 2018 after higher costs and tough competition blunted the benefits of solid Christmas sales.

Marks & Spencer

British retailer Marks & Spencer reported better than expected sales of both clothing and food in the key Christmas quarter and said it was maintaining financial guidance for its full 2017-18 year.

Card Factory

British greeting cards retailer Card Factory, which sells most of its products for under a pound, said it delivered solid sales growth in the Christmas period and like-for-like sales in the period were driven by lower margin non-card categories, such as gifts and dressings.

AO World

British online home appliances retailer AO World said it enjoyed strong sales growth in the UK over the peak trading period with the biggest push in sales coming from Black Friday deals.

Booker Group

Tesco takeover target Booker said total sales grew 3.4 percent in 16 weeks to Dec. 29 with non-tobacco sales rising 5.9 percent in the period.

Reported on Jan. 10:


British supermarket group Sainsbury’s cautioned on Wednesday that the market for general merchandise and clothing would be tough in 2018, taking the shine off a slight upgrade to its forecast for annual profit. Its general merchandise sales fell 1.4 percent in the 15 weeks to Jan. 6, its fiscal third quarter, having fallen 1.6 percent in the previous quarter.

Lidl UK

Discount supermarket Lidl UK said it grew sales by 16 percent in the Christmas period as it set a record for the number of customers coming into its stores in December.

Ted Baker

British fashion retailer Ted Baker Plc reported higher sales in the Christmas period, as online purchases surged, sending its shares to a near one-year high.


Fashion retailer Superdry Plc said it saw strong sales growth at its e-commerce and wholesale business in the peak trading period.

Moss Bros

The John Lewis store on Oxford Street is seen in central London December 15, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall/Files

Formalwear specialist Moss Bros Group Plc said it faced a very tough December trading environment leading to a significant reduction in store footfall.

Reported on Jan.9:


Britain’s fourth biggest supermarket chain Morrisons beat sales growth forecasts over Christmas, with the rate of growth picking up from the previous quarter.

Majestic Wine

British wine retailer Majestic Wine Plc said underlying sales in the Christmas season grew 4.1 percent and added it was on track to meet full-year expectations.

Reported on Jan.8:

Mothercare Plc

Pedestrians walk past a Marks & Spencer store on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Files

British baby goods retailer Mothercare Plc warned that its full-year profit would be much lower than expected as it did not see any improvement in the UK market in the short term, sending its shares tumbling to their lowest ever. The company said online sales in Britain fell 6.9 percent during the 12 weeks to Dec. 30, including the key Christmas season.

Reported on Jan.5:


British meat retailer Crawshaw Group said it saw strong core festive trade, with sales in the week leading up to Christmas crossing 1.8 million pounds ($2.4 million). However, the company warned a softer consumer environment and cost inflation would drag on profitability at its high-street outlets.

Reported on Jan.4:

Aldi UK

Aldi UK, the British arm of the German discount supermarket chain, said its sales rose over 15 percent in December year-on-year, a record Christmas performance that was driven by strong demand for its premium ranges.

Debenhams Plc

Retailer Debenhams said its British like-for-like sales at constant currency fell 2.6 percent in the 17 weeks to Dec. 30, reflecting a volatile and competitive market in the autumn and a disappointing first week of its post-Christmas sale. It also downgraded its profit forecast after it slashed prices to drive sales in the run-up to Christmas and cut them again after shoppers failed to turn out for its clearance sale.

Reported on Jan.3:


Poundland, which is owned by troubled South African group Steinhoff, said it enjoyed a record Christmas, with sales up 5.6 percent in the 12 weeks to Dec. 24.

Next Plc

British clothing retailer Next raised its full-year profit forecast after beating guidance for sales in the run-up to Christmas, as colder weather helped sales of winter clothes. Its shares surged as much as 10 percent.

John Lewis

Department store chain John Lewis reported an 8.9 percent jump in total sales in Christmas week with big increases from fashion, homeware and home technology categories.

($1 = 0.7384 pounds)

Compiled by Rahul B and Radhika Rukmangadhan; Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Heinrich

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