Sat, 12th Jan 2019
The health of the high street has been laid bare with the latest reports from major retailers, including Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Tesco, who all published their Christmas trading figures.
Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire has announced that he will be stepping down with immediate effect following a shareholder rebellion, and Sergio Bucher, the company’s chief executive, is leaving the board. The retailer has been struggling for some time, and reported that sales had fallen by 3.6 percent, with poor footfall being offset by improvements in their online performance.
Meanwhile, Tesco posted some strong results, reporting a 2.6 percent increase in sales over the Christmas period. This makes it a contender for the top performer in the grocery sector over that period. Marks & Spencer, however, reported that sales had dropped by more than two percent for both their food and clothing range.
Specialist bike and car retailer Halford issued a profit warning, reporting that mild weather and poor consumer confidence had adversely affected sales. Card Factory has also warned that it expects underlying profits to be flat for the next financial year, as it anticipates that the coming trading periods will be challenging.
Jaguar Land Rover has also reported challenging conditions, and will be cutting 4,500 jobs as part of a cost saving plan which it hopes will help it save £2.5 billion. The company will be making most of the cuts in the UK, and will be starting with a voluntary program.