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Debenhams reports sales fall after 'difficult' Christmas

Debenhams saw its group like-for-like sales drop by 3.4% in the six weeks to 5 January as the department store chain battled against volatile trading conditions in the UK.

DEPARTMENT STORES

Debenhams reports sales fall after 'difficult' Christmas

Debenhams saw its group like-for-like sales drop by 3.4% in the six weeks to 5 January as the department store chain battled against volatile trading conditions in the UK.

Group gross transaction value for the period fell by 3.8%. UK sales declined by 3.6% following weak footfall in-store although there was growth in online sales.

The results mean that in the 18 weeks to 5 January, group gross transaction value declined by 5.6% as like-for-like sales dropped by 5.7%.

Debenhams is currently in discussions with its lenders, which it described as constructive, as it looks to refinance existing bank facilities within the next 12 months. In the meantime, the retailer has put on hold any further asset disposals until the outcome of the discussions is known.

Sergio Bucher, chief executive of Debenhams, said: “In order to ensure that Debenhams has a sustainable and profitable future we need a strong customer proposition, a strengthened balance sheet and a reshaped store portfolio. We have a robust plan to deliver this and while there is much work still to do, the performance of our Redesigned stores over peak, and continued outperformance in digital, reinforce our view that we are taking the right steps to protect the future of the business."

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