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Debenhams & Morrisons delighted but Greggs leads the way

Morrisons MRW claims to have benefited over the 9 weeks to the 3rd January from what it repeatedly describes as an improved shopping trip for its customers. Like for like sales, excluding fuel rose by 0.2%  which may be seen as a good result against a background of the closure of 140 local stores plus further supermarket closures.

Xmas online sales surged by 100%.

Price deflation, especially to someone brought up in an inflationary world, seems to be staggering. Over one year Morrisons prices have fallen by 3.2 % and over 2 years by 7%.

Second half profits are now expected to be greater than first half.

Debenhams DEB is one of the few retailers who can claim to have got its planning right.  Firstly it got its stock levels right and even more importantly it planned for the weather which we actually got rather than the weather which all the other retailers expected. The result is that it was not left with a huge overhang of  unsold outdoor wear.

It claims to have experienced strong multi channel sales growth over the 7 week Xmas period to the 9th January but despite that, growth at 2.9% was down on 2014’s 3.3%. Reported like for like sales growth fell from 2.4% to 1.8%.

Over the 19 week period to 9th January Debenhams experienced a substantial all round improvement over the previous year, with gross transactions up by 2.5% and reported like for like sales up by 1.9%.

But the real Xmas winner so far appears to be cheeky little Greggs (GRG). 2015 was a year of excellent progress and its seasonal favourites, mince pies and Festive Bake, made a strong contribution to Xmas sales. With 122 new shops as against only 74 closures in 2015, total sales rose by 5.2% and like for like sales in company managed shops were up by 4.7%.

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