More high street winners

Christmas was bad for sofas, but good for sports and fashionwear, judging by the latest retail results.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

Retailers JJB Sports and Ted Baker both recorded increased Christmas sales figures. JJB, which operates high street sports shops and a range of health clubs, saw revenue jump 2.5%, including a 2.2% rise in like-for-like sales. Designer clothing brand Ted Baker – a Christmas present favourite, judging by the crowds in its Regent Street store in December – did even better, posting a 12.5% increase in sales. Ted enjoyed a share price bounce this morning, although JJB fell amid concerns that heavy discounting would ravage its profit margins.

Companies with a strong online presence also seem to have had a good Christmas. Today home clothing retailer N Brown, whose wares are particularly popular with size 20-plus ladies, reported a 14% jump in like-for like sales during the last quarter. With analysts predicting full-year profits of £71.3m, and a 30% jump in new customers during the second half, its share price soared this morning (less imaginative publications would probably resorts to jokes about fuller figures and chunky profit lines at this point, but fortunately we’re above that sort of thing).

But as you’d expect, there was some bad news around too. Sofa store SCS saw its share price dive again today after revealing that Christmas sales were down 16% on last year. Warning that it saw no sign of respite from the current spending slowdown, it also cancelled its dividend and suspended its expansion plan. It’s now halved in value since the start of the year. Clearly people might be prepared to shell out on a nice shirt, but they’re not willing to invest in a new sofa.

A big test for the beleaguered retail sector will come this week, when Tesco reports its Christmas trading results. If it’s done well – as analysts seem to be expecting – it should shore up confidence. But if it’s done badly, like M&S, the doom and gloom will be turned up another notch...

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Mike Ashley: Does it matter if the public hates you right now?

The Sports Direct founder’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn criticism, but in the...

4 films to keep you sane during the coronavirus lockdown

Cirrus CEO Simon Hayward shares some choices to put things in perspective.

Pandemic ends public love affair with Richard Branson et al

Opinion: The larger-than-life corporate mavericks who rose to prominence in the 80s and 90s suddenly...

The Squiggly Career: How to be a chief strengths spotter

When leading remotely, it's more important than ever to make sure your people spend their...

"Blind CVs don't improve your access to talent"

Opinion: If you want to hire socially mobile go-getters, you need to know the context...

The highs and lows of being a super-achiever

Pay it Forward podcast: techUK boss Jacqueline de Rojas and Google UK's marketing strategy and...