BRC Sales Monitor reported very subdued sales in November with like-for-like increases of only 1.2% compared with November 2006 and 1.8% uplift in sales for the 3 months to November when compared with the previous year. Discussions with members indicate that Christmas trading to date has been generally disappointing and the ‘rush’ is still awaited. It is reported that large retailers are to ask the Government to extend opening by four hours on the last Sunday prior to Christmas, in an attempt to overcome the current poor trading situation. There is concern that most people will be travelling or concentrating on food shopping on Christmas Eve.
ASOS, the on-line fashion retailer has reported phenomenal sales in recent weeks and this reflects the continuing boom in internet sales generally, where sales are anticipated to reach £15bn for the Xmas quarter, up 60% on 2006. John Lewis was also bucking the trend reporting a 7% uplift in sales for the third week in November to £71m.
On the downside Moss Bros issued a profit warning after losing £800k in the first half of the year, it reported total sales falling 3.7% in the last 18 weeks. Sofa specialist ScS also reported like for like sales down 16% in a recent trading update.
Tesco has launched the first 15 stores of its new Fresh & Easy concept on the