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Mothercare like-for-likes up 1.9% in UK

Mothercare has increased its UK like-for-like sales by 1.9% in its first quarter after customers responded well to its end of season sale.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Mothercare like-for-likes up 1.9% in UK

Mothercare has increased its UK like-for-like sales by 1.9% in its first quarter after customers responded well to its end of season sale.

In the 15 weeks to 8 July, total sales were 1.8% lower than in the corresponding period last year due to the retailer’s ongoing store closure programme.

The retailer said UK like-for-like sales were helped by that the fact that it entered the end of season sale with lower stocks and achieved a higher sell through rate.

UK online sales were up 3.3% in the period.

Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive of Mothercare, said: "We have continued to make progress in the UK during the period. We have seen customers respond well to our end of season sale, which we entered with less stock than last year, and are achieving a higher sell through rate.

“Whilst online sales recorded a lower growth, in contrast to higher sales growth in store, we don't believe this represents an underlying permanent shift in customer behaviour. We are about to launch our autumn ranges, but it remains uncertain how consumers will respond to inflation.”

Mothercare’s international sales fared less well, with sales down 8.3% in constant currency and up 2.2% in actual currency. This was primarily driven by continued weakness in the Middle East.

The company opened 26 overseas stores and closed 43 in the period.

Newton-Jones said: “In our international business, the challenging economic conditions in the Middle East continue and are impacting overall performance, and so the outlook remains volatile. We continue to export our learnings from the UK as our business improves here, to support our partners with the modernisation of their franchise businesses, and see further opportunities for growth both online and in stores.”

Looking ahead, he added: "We remain firmly focused on our strategy, both here in the UK and internationally. Our vision remains clear: to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children."

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