Sales for the 12-week period to 29th September increased by 2.8%.

There was a steady improvement in clothing performance throughout the quarter. Progress was seen particularly in Womenswear, driven by better product appeal and supported by the Autumn launch of the “Perfect” campaign, with its focus on classically stylish merchandise for our core customers.

Food sales continued the first quarter trend after adjusting for the impact of reducing inflation.

Details of UK sales performance (incl. VAT) are shown below. Like-for-like sales are noted in brackets and have been estimated by comparing total sales with new, developed and closed stores excluded.


  12 weeks to
29th September
% on Last Year
  26 weeks to
29th September
% on Last Year
Clothing, Footwear and Gifts +0.8   -4.8
Home +6.6   +2.0
General Merchandise +1.3* (+1.1)   -4.2 (-4.8)
Food +4.9 (+3.4)   +5.4 (+4.2)
Total +2.8 (+2.1)   -0.2 (-1.0)

*The effect of last year’s fuel strike is to impact this quarter’s comparative performance of general merchandise by some 2.6%.

Per Una was launched in 33 stores on Friday 28th September and therefore only two days’ sales are included in these results, the impact being negligible. Initial customer response has been very positive.

The Interim Results will be announced on Tuesday, 6th November.

Commenting on the Trading Statement, Luc Vandevelde, Chairman and Chief Executive, said:

“We have been encouraged by the response of our customers to the improvements we have made to the appeal, quality and fit of our clothing.

While very mindful of the fact that the current economic environment is uncertain and may impact the High Street over the crucial Christmas trading period, we believe our customers will appreciate the continuing improvements we are making to our products as well as to the store environment.”