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Festive sales drop at Bonmarché

Total sales at value retailer Bonmarché for the 13 weeks to 29 December fell 8.1% year on year.

Like-for-like in-store sales struggled, and dropped 11.1% on 2017 figures. However, online-only sales were up 22.2%

The retailer said it recorded a “slight improvement” in footfall towards the end of December.

Gross margin was lower than last year – in line with revised forecasts – as a result of additional discounting and exchange rate headwinds.

Bonmarché said the winter Sale had begun well and it continues to trade in line with revised expectations.

Helen Connolly, chief executive, said: “Clearly, in the short time since our last update, macro market conditions have not changed, but I am pleased that the sale stock is clearing well and that trading is in line with our revised expectations. In the short term, we continue to focus on ending the year with a clean stock position and ensuring that our balance sheet remains healthy.

“Looking forward, the board remains confident in Bonmarché’s prospects and strategy, and we will continue to drive the implementation of our previously outlined plans, maintaining a particularly strong emphasis on increasing multi-channel sales.”

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