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Debenhams reports Christmas trading boost

Debenhams has reported a 5% increase in like-for-like sales in the seven weeks leading up to 7 January 2016, driven by strong performance in beauty and gifts.

Online sales were up 17%. UK like-for-like sales also grew slightly in the 18 weeks up to 7 January, up 1%.

The department store retailer has reduced the amount of clothing it offers customers and has also cut back on discounting.

Its international arm, the Magasin du Nord department store group in Denmark, experienced “tougher trading”.

New chief executive Sergio Bucher said he was pleased with Debenhams performance over Black Friday and Christmas, given the ongoing challenges facing retailers.

“The resilience of Debenhams’ differentiated offer is beginning to show through, with the growth we have driven in beauty and gifting. It’s encouraging to see that the service improvements we have made helped us to deliver strong multi-channel sales growth.”

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