Debenhams reports rise in half-year sales

| June 30, 2011 | 0 Comments

Debenhams, which is Britain’s second largest department store after John Lewis, today brought some much-needed good news to the retail sector after reporting an increase in second half-sales.

The retailing giant said sales at stores open more than a year, excluding VAT sales tax, were 1.5% higher in the 17 weeks to June 25.

It also said it would meet forecasts for full-year profit but added it remained cautious about the trading environment as consumers continue to be squeezed by higher inflation and rising unemployment.

The news comes in a week of doom and gloom for the industry after it emerged department store chain TJ Hughes is on the brink of administration.

The company said it will be appointing an administrator over the next week or so, unless a buyer can be found for the business.

Meanwhile, Carpetright announced a 70% fall in annual profits and said it is reviewing its stores, which could lead to closures.

Chocolate retailer Thorntons announced plans to close 120 stores over the next three years and said, as part of a strategic review of the business, a further 60 shops could close as it blamed challenging trading conditions for the latest measures.

Last week, it was revealed fashion retailer Jane Norman had entered administration, while furniture chain Habitat said all but three of its stores would be put into administration.

Other struggling retailers include HMV, Game, Dixons and JJB Sports, all of which are planning to reduce the number of stores, while Mothercare is cutting 110 shops to focus on out-of-town retail.


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