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In the news this week… Retail Round-up

Including Mothercare posting a drop in half year profits and like for like sales.

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

Mothercare has revealed a fall in half year profits and like for like sales. Pre-tax profit dropped 15.7% in the 28 weeks to October 8 to £5.9 million. Meanwhile, like for likes in the period dipped by 0.7%. The retailer also saw overall group sales drop 0.6%, which it attributed to challenges in the UK market. Total UK sales dropped 2.3% during the period, although half year international sales were up 7.7%.

Aldi has launched a plush toy version of the star of its Christmas TV ad – Kevin the Carrot. The £2.99 character is already sold out online, but also went into stores from November 24.

Primark has released a special keyboard featuring a range of Christmas-themed emojis. Available for iOS and Android, the app enables users to insert icons such as novelty jumpers, gingerbread men, a pug and a shopping bag into any iMessage/MMS or Facebook message. There are also animated gifs available including sparkling Christmas trees and glittery party dresses.

Sex toy specialist Lovehoney has seen its full year sales and profits soar on the back of a year of international expansion. The etailer saw pre-tax profits in the year to March 31 rise 68% to £5.1 million. Sales grew 29% to £58 million. Growth in Australia and the US – as well as increasing mass market appeal – was at the heart of its success. Lovehoney is now confident of a further boost around the release of the new Fifty Shades Darker film in February 2017.

John Lewis experienced a slight dip in sales in the week to November 19, down 2.6% to £114.16 million. Shop trade director Maggie Porteous said that consumers appeared to be waiting for Black Friday deals. Electrical and home technology sales were down 8.2%, although womenswear grew 9.5% within fashion and home accessories and gifts were up 1.8%. Merchandise associated with the John Lewis Christmas ad – featuring Buster the Boxer – was among the top ten bestsellers of the week.

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