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In the news this week… Retail Round-up

Including Toys R Us seeing an 82% leap in pre-tax profits in the year to January 28.

The Source rounds up some of the key retail stories of the week.

Toys R Us saw an 82% leap in pre-tax profits to £42.7 million in the 12 months to January 28. However, sales slide by 4% during the period to £418 million. Operating profit at the retailer stood at £21.3 million – this is compared with £8 million the previous year. The retailer said it was looking to drive store and online sales by improving its product, maintaining product margin and offering competitive pricing. It is also aiming to reduce distribution and administrative costs.

Asda could be about to reduce its store staff levels, with over 3,000 jobs being affected. The grocer has begun consultation with 3,257 workers in 18 of its under performing stores – these have been identified as being overstaffed amid consumers’ switch to online shopping, self-service checkouts or to rival retailers. Retail Week also reported that Asda is assessing staffing levels in 59 more of its supermarkets.

Elsewhere, Sainsbury’s is also reported to be cutting up to 1,000 central office jobs as part of a £500 million cost-cutting initiative. According to the Sunday Telegraph, the retailer has called in McKinsey to devise a staff reduction plan.

Its successful collaboration with Disney helped Cath Kidston grow like for like sales in the UK by 3.3% to £87.7 million for the full year. The retail saw its group EBITDA increase 27.4% to £9.3 million in the year to March 26. Sales were up 8% to £129 million, mostly thanks to an almost 20% increase in overseas sales to £42.3 million.

Card Factory has reported a like for like sales jump of 3.1% in the six months ending July 31. Store like for likes grew 3%, with the greeting cards specialist opening 30 new stores during the period, including its first outlet in the Republic of Ireland. The launch of new locations aided underlying group sales, which grew 6.7%, with total sales climbing 6.1%.

Fashion retailer New Look has experienced a 4.4% drop in revenue to £338.7 million in the 13 weeks to June 24. UK like for like sales declined 7.5% during the period. Underlying operating profit plummeted 60% to £12.1 million, while EBITDA dipped 37% to £27.2 million. A ‘challenging UK sales performance and investment in strategic initiatives’ were attributed to the fall.

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