Debenhams had its best ever December performance, the department store has announced.
Like-for-like sales in the five weeks to January 5 rose 5%, helping comparable sales in the first 18 weeks of its financial year lift 2.9%.
The group, which has 155 UK stores and 73 overseas outlets, cut prices by up to 50% in one-day promotions on some products in what chief executive Michael Sharp said was the most competitive Christmas in his 37-year career in retail.
He said shoppers were more "canny" and left shopping until much later this year in the hope of picking up bargains ahead of Christmas as well as during the traditional sale period.
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