Top retailers report sales boost over Christmas trading period

Top UK retailers including Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Debenhams and Tesco supermarket have reported a boost in sales over the Christmas trading period.

Results were positive across the board but some retailers warned

  • M&S clothing and home sales turnaround

Marks & Spencer revealed a return to sales growth in its struggling clothing arm for the first time in nearly two years.

The chain's growth was a turnaround after a poor performance a year earlier and was boosted by five extra trading days over the festive season.

M&S sales were boosted by an extra five trading days over the festive season. Credit: PA

Chief executive Steve Rowe said "better ranges, better availability and better prices" helped sales recover against a "difficult marketplace".

The group announced plans in November to close around 30 UK stores and convert 45 more into food-only shops.

  • John Lewis warn of lower staff bonus despite strong sales

John Lewis reported positive sales over the festive rading period but warned the partnership's bonus is likely to be "significantly lower" than last year.

Despite strong profits staff at John Lewis will receive a lower bonus this year. Credit: PA

The company, which includes supermarket Waitrose, said despite strong Christmas trading figures and a rise in profits forecasted for the full year, a difficult year ahead and the "importance of investment for the future" mean that the staff bonus will probably be cut.

"The precise level of the bonus will be decided as usual in March, but, in view of these factors, it is likely to be significantly lower than last year," a trading statement said.

  • Tesco Christmas ranges see good growth

Supermarket giant Tesco's festive sales boost help to record a 1.8% increase in third quarter sales.

Tesco said it saw particularly good growth across its core Christmas grocery and fresh ranges, including a 24% increase in party food.

Tesco saw growth across its core Christmas grocery and fresh ranges. Credit: PA

Chief executive Dave Lewis said: "We are very encouraged by the sustained strong progress that we are making across the group.

"In the UK, we saw our eighth consecutive quarter of volume growth and delivered a third successful Christmas."

  • Primark sales surge due Brexit-hit pound

Primark sales have boosted compared to the same period last year. Credit: PA

Sales at fashion retailer Primark jumped by more than fifth thanks to a boost from the Brexit-hit pound.

  • Debenhams boosted by beauty and gift sales

Debenhams saw strong growth in its beauty and gift sections in the 18 weeks to January 7.

Debenham sales non-clothing sales rose by 57%. Credit: PA

Chief executive Sergio Bucher said he was pleased by the results, but that there was "a lot more we can do to build from this base".