Topshop owner denies reports of weak Christmas trading
Topshop’s owner has denied that the influential UK fast fashion chain had a weak Christmas season as has been claimed. A newspaper report said that Arcadia’s star brand saw a double-digit comparable sales fall, but majority owner Sir Philip Green said “the numbers are wrong.”
The Sunday Times said it understood that the seven week period running from Black Friday to the New Year saw an 11% comps drop at the destination young fashion chain.
And it claimed an overall comp sales decline of 6.5% at Arcadia’s basket of brands that also includes Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Burton, Evans and Dorothy Perkins. The newspaper did not cite a source for the report.
Although he said the numbers were inaccurate, Sir Philip did not give any corrected figures. He said that with Arcadia being a private company, he does not intend to change the strategy of the past 14 years and issue a Christmas trading statement.
It would come as little surprise for any UK chain to have seen challenging comparable sales during the recent Christmas period.
Next gave a downbeat Christmas season report back in January and although some other chains such as Reiss and Ted Baker has a strong trading period, it has become clear that December was a challenging month with shopper footfall dropping.
The newspaper also said that H&M’s reported 6% increase has been interpreted by analysts as a 3% comp sales fall when the impact of new stores was stripped out.
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