UK

John Lewis, House Of Fraser Enjoy Christmas Boost As Debenhams Suffers

02/01/2014 10:19 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 15:52 GMT
Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Christmas shoppers on Oxford Street, London.

Department stores John Lewis and House of Fraser enjoyed soaring sales over the Christmas trading period, as rival Debenhams was forced to issue a shock profits warning.

John Lewis said like-for-like sales climbed 6.9% over the five weeks to December 28, while House of Fraser hailed its best ever Christmas with comparable store sales up 7.3%.

The first day of clearance sales in John Lewis branches on December 27 saw the biggest ever day of trading across the business as it took £35.6 million.

However, Debenhams has faced a rockier time with chief financial officer boss Simon Herrick announcing his resignation days after the department store issued a shock warning that profits could fall as much as 26% to £85 million from £114.7 the year before.

Debenhams' shock profits warning, its second in less than a year, sent the department store's share price sliding 12%. Despite Debenhams' disappointing Christmas trading, new research found that the number of retailers going into administration fell by 6% during 2013 compared to the year before.

Research from business advisory firm Deloitte found 183 retailers entered administration over the last 12 months compared with 194 in 2012, suggesting that high street firms are benefiting from being left standing after the collapse of rivals.

Lee Manning, restructuring services partner at Deloitte, said: "The high street has undergone a re-balancing, and this is what is being reflected by these figures.

"A year ago we were about to see HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops enter administration, but I would not expect as many high-profile retail casualties this time round."