Winners and losers from retail's "Super Thursday"

Helen Cahill
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JD Sports smashed expectations in its trading update this morning (Source: JD Sports)

So many retailers decided to update the market on trading today that Shore Capital analysts published a note to complain about it.

But as the morning has progressed, clear winners and losers have emerged from the data deluge. Here are our picks:


JD Sports put its gymwear rival Sports Direct to shame today as it scored 10 per cent like-for-like sales growth and upgraded its profit forecasts by 15 per cent. Clearly, the retailer's focus on customer experience is proving profitable. It's no wonder Sports Direct wants to emulate JD Sports to become the "Selfridges of sports".

David Stoddart, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said the market will be "delighted" with the figures, and he was right - JD Sports' share price has jumped more than eight per cent.

Department store Debenham‚Äč's share price has climbed five per cent so far today. The company has shifted its focus to beauty - a particularly successful sales category at Christmas - helping it to beat sales expectations for the Christmas period.

Mothercare has returned to growth, with like-for-like sales up one per cent, pushing up the retailer's share price up four per cent. It's been a tough few years for Mothercare - it was hit by heavy losses and falling margins - but today said it has been offering fewer sales and growing its online offering.


Tesco was probably hoping for a boost to its share price today after it reported that its like-for-like sales grew 1.5 per cent in the third quarter. But, its share price has dropped 2.3 per cent. Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said investors were "worrying whether the group can achieve sustained growth".

"There are turbulent times ahead for the sector," Hyett said. "Tesco has committed to ensuring that it “offers customers the best possible prices”, suggesting that despite looming cost inflation the price wars may not be at an end.”

Primark-owner Associated British Food reported a sales increase of 11 per cent this morning, but investors have not been particularly impressed, given the company did not reveal its like-for-like sales growth for Primark and said its square footage increased by 12 per cent.

George Salmon of Hargreaves Lansdown said:

With expansion continuing apace, investors may be excused for being a touch disappointed.

Online retailer AO World's share price has slumped eight per cent today as its sales fell short of analyst's expectations. UK revenue grew nine per cent, but analysts had been looking for growth between 10 per cent and 16 per cent. In addition, the retailer said its was "mindful of the uncertain economic outlook" in the UK. As a company focussing on electrical goods, it will be particularly vulnerable to inflationary pressures from the devaluation of the pound.

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