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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Debenhams finance chief quits after profit warning

Debenhams issued a severe profit warning earlier this week. Credit: PA Wire

The finance director of Debenhams has quit days after the retail company issued a massive profit warning.

The company, which lowered its profit outlook after the hoped-for surge in last-minute Christmas shopping failed to materialise, said Simon Herrick had left with immediate effect.

Report: UK shoppers spend over £2.7bn on Boxing Day

Fears of a slump in the holiday season proved to be unfounded as Boxing Day sales gave a boost to British retailers, The Telegraph reported.

According to the newspaper, shoppers spent over £2.7 billion in stores and online retailers all over the UK.

Security hold back shoppers in the Boxing Day sales at the Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester. Credit: PA

Analysts have forecasted that shoppers would most likely spend £2.97 billion by Friday both in brick-and-mortar stores and online.

If the prediction comes true, the total will beat last year's figure of £2.8 billion, the report said citing data from the British Retail Consortium and the Centre for Retail Research.

Foreign shoppers spend 'four times more' than locals

International tourists were among the thousands hitting the high streets for today's Boxing Day sales, with retail experts saying foreign nationals spend on average four times more than domestic shoppers.

Shoppers wait outside Harrods for the start of the Boxing Day sales. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

While shoppers from Qatar spend the most per transaction - on average £1714, tax-free shopping company Global Blue said Chinese shoppers were more likely to return to the tills with more goods at an average of £1,367 a pop.

Sue West, retail director at Selfridges, said the Boxing Day sales are very important for its international customers.

"The Chinese market is hugely important to Selfridges. It's one of the fastest growing international markets that we have," she said.

Harrods offered queueing customers blankets and hot chocolates to keep warm. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Chinese couple Wang Tianyi, 21, and Sun Yeting, also 21, were queueing outside Selfridges on Oxford Street in Central London from 4am and planned to head straight for the luxury items.

"We will buy the things we like," Mr Tianyi said.

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