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Greggs to cut up to 400 jobs despite sales growth

British baker Greggs said as many as 400 jobs could be scrapped as in-store bakeries are closed and management teams are restructured, despite the fast-food chain's strong Christmas trading numbers.

Greggs shop in Sheffield Credit: Press Association Images

The company said it would work with trade unions and vacancies would be offered to employees working at the in-store bakeries "wherever possible".

Greggs said the cuts would save £6m a year from the middle of next year and £2m this year after costs of £9m for redundancy payments andwrite-offs on in-store baking equipment.

The company said like-for-like sales grew 2.6% in its fiscal fourth quarter, with sales in the five week festive period up 3.1%.

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Mothercare shares plunge by 30% after Christmas

Shares in Mothercare fell by 30% today after the chain fell victim to fierce Christmas price wars.

Shares in Mothercare slumped today. Credit: PA

Shares in the babycare products chain sank 126p to 294p after confidence in its turnaround plan was hit by today's profits warning.

Mothercare blamed a 9.9% plunge in UK sales on the "highly promotional" nature of the Christmas period and lower footfall.

Sainsbury's posts busiest ever trading Christmas run-up

Sainsbury's enjoyed its busiest trading week ever in the run-up to Christmas, helping like-for-like sales in its latest quarter climb by 0.2%.

A shopper choosing Champagne over the festive period. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Chief executive Justin King said the 14 weeks to January 4 had been a "very tough sales environment" but the supermarket managed to maintain its record of growth - after it was forecast to fall after 35 successive periods of expansion.

Mr King said the seven days prior to Christmas was the group's busiest ever trading week, with more than 28 million transactions.

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Surge in online groceries shopping for Waitrose

Waitrose said the strong trading period was driven by growth in online groceries sales, which rose by more than a third in the five weeks to Christmas Eve compared with the same period in 2012.

Online groceries drove the strong trading Credit: Matthew Baker/PA Wire

It said that 619,000 people used their click and collect service in the same five-week period.

Waitrose hails most successful Christmas on record

Waitrose says it has seen its most successful Christmas on record after sales for the twelve trading days up to December 31 were up 6.5% on last year.

Total sales for the five weeks up to Christmas Eve was 5.4% above the same period in 2012.

It said it also recorded its most successful single day of trading ever after taking £51m on Monday December 23.

Poll: January sales 'not worthwhile for shoppers'

Most Britons believe shopping in the January sales is not worthwhile because discounts are available all year, an ITV News poll has found.

Most British shoppers feel that the January sales are 'redundant'. Credit: PA Wire

According to the ITV News Index carried out by ComRes, seven in ten (71%) agreed that the concept of the January sales seems redundant, while more than half (52%) said the hassle of the sales was not worth the savings made.

Despite this, 61% of respondents agreed that it is possible to find genuine bargains in January.

John Lewis & House of Fraser enjoy strong Christmases

John Lewis outperformed many of its rivals over the Christmas period. Credit: PA Wire

John Lewis has reported buoyant trading over Christmas with like-for-like sales climbing 6.9 percent over the five weeks to December 28.

House of Fraser also performed well in the festive period, hailing its best ever Christmas with comparable store sales up 7.3 percent.

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