Christmas cheer for Debenhams

Debenhams has introduced a range of concessions to fill unproductive space

Debenhams has introduced a range of concessions to fill unproductive space

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HIGH street stalwart Debenhams is expected to have seen its sales nudge higher during the critical Christmas countdown as it continues to turn its business around.

City analysts estimate like-for-like sales to have crept up 0.3 per cent over a 19-week trading period, compared to a year earlier, as it cut down on discounting and battled with the warmest December in a century.

Retail bellwethers Next and Marks & Spencer both posted dips in Christmas trading last week due to the unseasonal weather.

In October, Debenhams said it had cut sale days by 17 days over the year. It has also introduced a range of concessions to fill unproductive space.

The group, which has 161 UK stores out of 248 internationally, has struggled in recent years to keep pace with the likes of House of Fraser.

Last year it reported a 2.9 per cent rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £113.5 million for the 12 months to 29 August – its first rise in annual profits for four years.

The latest trading update is due on Tuesday.

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