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Trade boom at discounters

Discount retailers appear to be bucking the economic downturn, after TK Maxx posted strong like-for-like sales figures in the first quarter.

TK Maxx, which is owned by US retail giant The TJX Companies, saw like-for-like sales at its stores in the UK and Europe rise 5%, while net sales climbed 13% to US$495 million (£254.5m) for the 13 weeks to April 26.

A spokeswoman for the discount chain attributed the growth to TK Maxx’s unique discount concept, which is believed to have tapped into consumers wanting to trade up to buy into quality brands in tighter times.

She said: “TK Maxx is a very lean and cost-efficient business with a strong and unique proposition of offering brands at great value. It’s a model that performs well in all trading climates.”

George Foster, chief executive of The Original Factory Shop, which also sells discounted brands, said like-for-like sales were in high single digits. He added that the slowdown had played into discounters’ hands and that overstocks at brands and retailers meant that more stock was up for grabs for the discount sector this season.

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