Debenhams posts five per cent rise in festive sales

Debenhams, the department store chain, posted a five per cent rise in like-for-like sales in the seven-week Christmas period, buoyed by a plan to sell more beauty and gift products rather than clothing.

Debenhams has published its Christmas trading update

Debenhams said that in the seven weeks to January 7, its sales at stores open for more than a year grew by five per cent. That compared to a 3.5 per cent rise in like-for-like sales over the longer 18 week period to January 7.

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“The resilience of Debenhams’ differentiated offer is beginning to show through, with the growth we have driven in beauty and gifting,” said Debenhams CEO Sergio Bucher.

Moving away from clothes has become a key part of Debenhams’s strategy as Britons spend less on clothing.

Clothes retailer Next reported disappointing Christmas sales and downgraded its profit forecast earlier in January.