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Bonmarché third quarter sales dip as it reduces discounting

Sales at Bonmarché dipped by 1.3% and store like for like sales were down by 5.3% in the 39 weeks leading up to 24 December 2016, which the value retailer blamed on less promotional activity.

It added that less discounting had improved margins, which were 2.2% year on year.

Festive sales in the 13 weeks leading up to 24 December were up 3.3% and store like for likes also rose by 0.8%.

Chief executive Helen Connolly said: “”Given the backdrop of the current trading environment, our third quarter store sales were satisfactory, particularly in light of the business still being in the early stages of its turnaround. The online performance was poor, and this continues to be a key area of focus.

“Customers have responded well to the improved, more modern ranges in our core autumn/winter product categories of coats and knitwear. This was helped by more seasonally appropriate weather during the quarter, which strengthened demand and to some degree counterbalanced the weakness we are experiencing in the apparel market.”

Bonmarché currently operates 327 stores.

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