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New Look in shock Xmas sales collapse

New Look saw Christmas sales at its UK stores plummet 9.1% on a like-for-like basis over the 15 weeks to January 8.

New Look said total group sales fell by 3.4% over the period and that UK gross margin had been impacted by the wintry weather, which had forced increased discounting and bigger stock impact.

The UK’s second largest womenswear retailer said that the snow and cold weather had “exacerbated an already challenging environment”, and estimated that it had cost the business £15m in lost sales and knocked like-for-likes by 3%.

Online sales were a slightly brighter spot, with New Look securing 3.3% of apparel and accessories internet market share.

New Look chief executive Carl McPhail said: “Trading conditions in the UK have continued to be challenging and the adverse weather in December significantly affected footfall and spending patterns. The outlook for 2011 is uncertain and we remain cautious about the impact of the recent VAT increase and Government cuts on consumer spending.”


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