Department store chain Debenhams has reported a dip in sales in its latest trading update as ‘uncertain trading conditions’ hindered progress.
Group like-for-like sales for the 15 weeks to 11 June 2016 fell by 0.2%. Despite the fall Debenhams said that stock management and cost controls still showed the group was ‘in line’ to meet its full year guidance range.
Online sales continued to show good growth, up by 7% in the third quarter with mobile sales now representing over 50% of UK online orders, while its Click & Collect orders grew by 19% year-on-year.
Debenhams also revealed that having trialled two furniture display concepts in Manchester and Gateshead, it plans to open a further six for the Autumn/Winter season.
Michael Sharp, chief executive of Debenhams, said: “Our strategy remains unchanged, with further progress in driving our non-clothing mix, continuing to improve service for multi-channel customers, and offering a wider choice of products and services in under-optimised space. In response to more uncertain trading conditions in this period, particularly in clothing, we have focused on managing stock and margins and generating cash.
“I am confident that I am leaving the business in the hands of a very strong management team, who will continue to execute our strategy and support our new CEO, Sergio Bucher, through the next phase of Debenhams’ development. Our wide product choice, clear destination departments and improving service proposition gives us a strong platform from which to deliver long term sustainable growth.”
Debenhams announced last month the appointment of Sergio Bucher as its new chief executive officer, who will officially join the group in October 2016 from Amazon.com, and replaces current chief executive Michael Sharp, who intends to step down on 24 June.