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Factbox-How British retailers fared over cost-of-living crisis Christmas

PAPERCHASE-M-A-TESCO:Britain's Tesco buys Paperchase stationery brand
PAPERCHASE-M-A-TESCO:Britain's Tesco buys Paperchase stationery brand Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023
By Reuters
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LONDON - British consumer spending over the Christmas period held up better-than-expected at most large retail groups, providing some relief to a sector which had feared an escalating cost-of-living crisis would hit the key holiday sales period.

However, Official UK retail sales data for December for the overall sector showed a much weaker picture.

ALDI UK

The British arm of German discount supermarket group Aldi said its sales in December rose 26% compared to the previous year. It highlighted strong growth in sales of fresh meat, with fresh poultry and pork options both up over 28%.

ASOS

ASOS posted a 3% fall in revenues in the four months to the end of December. In Britain, its biggest market, sales fell 8%, hurt by weak consumer sentiment, Christmas delivery problems and a tough comparison against last year.

B&M

Discount retailer B&M said comparable sales rose 6.4% in its key Christmas quarter, showing that shoppers sought out value options as they grappled with the cost-of-living crisis.

BOOHOO

Online fashion retailer Boohoo said revenue fell 11% in its key Christmas trading period, the four months to the end of December.

BOOTS UK

Health and beauty products retailer Boots UK said its December retail sales were up around 15% year-on-year, highlighting strong sales in gifting and fragrance categories.

CURRYS

Electrical retailer Currys said like-for-like revenue in its UK and Ireland business fell 5% in the 10 weeks to Jan. 7, partly reflecting high levels of sales seen over the last two pandemic-hit years but also weak demand for computers and TVs.

DUNELM

Dunelm, which sells furnishings ranging from cushions and bedding to kitchen equipment, said total sales were up 18% for the 13 weeks to Dec. 31 compared to the same period a year ago.

GREGGS

Fast food chain Greggs said its festive bakes, mince pies and salted caramel lattes, along with breakfast and lunch offers, appealed to cash-strapped Christmas shoppers, helping like-for-like sales rise 18.2% in its final quarter.

HALFORDS

Halfords posted total revenue growth of 21.7% for its fiscal third quarter, the 13-week period ended Dec.31, but cut its annual profit forecast on weaker demand for bicycles.

JD SPORTS

Sports fashion retailer JD Sports reported total revenue growth of over 20% in the six weeks to Dec. 31.

LIDL GB

The British arm of German discounter Lidl said sales rose 24.5% in the four weeks to Dec. 25 compared to the previous year.

MARKS & SPENCER

Marks & Spencer, posted quarterly like-for-like food sales growth of 6.3%, and an 8.6% rise in clothing and home sales.

NEXT

British clothing retailer Next beat forecasts posting a 4.8% rise in full price sales in the nine weeks to Dec. 30, highlighting a boost from a cold snap in December which helped jackets and coats fly off the shelves.

OCADO

Ocado Retail, a 50/50 joint venture between Ocado Group and Marks & Spencer, said its sales were up 15% over the five days before Christmas.

SAINSBURY'S

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's posted a 5.9% rise in underlying sales for the Christmas quarter.

TESCO

Tesco reported a better-than-expected 4.3% rise in underlying UK sales in the quarter to Nov. 26, and a 7.2% rise in the six weeks to Jan. 7.

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