REPORT_ Fashion retailer New Look reported good sales during the Christmas trading period for the seven weeks to December 28.
Total UK sales grew 2.9 percent, with like-for-like sales up 1.5 percent. Total sales across the New Look Group grew 2.6 percent and gross margin was higher than expected, boosted by a strong full price sales mix.
Online sales up were 62 percent, with a 48 percent increase on the group's own website, while the option to 'click and collect' was selected for approximately a quarter of all orders.
Anders Kristiansen, Chief Executive Officer commented: “New Look has performed well over this period. After a difficult start to the quarter, on account of an unseasonably warm October, trading returned to more normal levels. However, the festive trading window was smaller this year, with customers delaying purchases in order to seek out the best promotions before Christmas.”
“In spite of the backdrop of extensive Christmas discounting across the High Street, our stronger full price sales performance ensured that we were able to protect our margin - a central component of our strategy - and we also saw our market share grow.
“We are optimistic about the year ahead but remain watchful of the pace of recovery in the UK economy and the continued pressures facing our customers," concluded Kristiansen.
The privately owned fashion retailer held off on heavy discounting across its product range until after Christmas Day, which appears to be an emerging trend among retailers who reported a strong Christmas trading period that includes the likes of department store John Lewis, House of Fraser and causal fashion retailer Fat Face.