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In the news this week… Retail Round-up

Including Game seeing sales fall after a tough first half and Mother’s Day retail boost.

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

Video games retailer Game saw its sales fall 9.1% to £499 million in its interim results. Pre-tax profit dropped 26.7% to £16.5 million, however the retailer expected overall sales to be positive in the second half despite tough conditions continuing. The tough first half was attributed to a weaker line-up of new games launches, plus the market-wide underperformance of certain key titles. However, the second half of the year will include sales of the new Nintendo Switch, which has got off to a strong start.

Poundland has revealed plans to increase its multi-price proposition. Trading director Barry Williams said that, while the retailer would continue to sell the vast majority of its products for £1, it would introduce 50p, £2 and £5 fixed price points. In addition, Poundland has doubled its initial target of Pep & Co shop in shop openings to 100 by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, value chain 99p Stores has been placed into administration, which was bought by Poundland in September 2015.

Card Factory has identified growth opportunities in retail parks and the Republic of Ireland, according to Retail Week. The news comes as the retailer posted full year profits for the year ending January 31 of £82.8 million, down 1.1%. However, on an underlying basis, pre-tax profits were up 3.8% to £85.1 million. Total sales grew 4.3% to £398.2 million, with store like for likes inching up 0.4%.

John Lewis saw its sales drop 4.1% in the week to March 25 to £81.7 million. Electricals and home technology were hardest hit during the week – down 12.2% – while the home category dropped 3.3%. However, home gifts grew 38.8% thanks to Mother’s Day purchases and fashion was up 2.8% – boosted by an 11.1% increase in womenswear, with beauty, wellbeing and leisure sales up 16.5%.

The BDO Sales Tracker has shown that sales for the week ending March 26 were given a lift by Mother’s Day. Perhaps unsurprisingly, gifts, perfume and jewellery all did well, as well as stationers. Lifestyle like for likes were up 6.14% – this was off a positive base of +4.7% for the same week last year. Fashion like for likes had a harder time, however, slipping 4.62% from -4.8% last year.

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