House of Fraser suffers 60 per cent sales drop in run-up to Christmas
House of Fraser has reportedly suffered a dive in sales over the crucial Christmas trading season, in a fresh sign of the woes facing the beleaguered department store chain.
Year-on-year sales plunged 60 per cent in the 12 weeks to 18 December, according to Kantar Worldpanel figures reported in The Sunday Telegraph.
It is the retailer’s first festive performance under the ownership of Mike Ashley, who bought the firm in August for £90m.
The retail magnate’s spending spree, which has also involved the acquisition of Evans Cycles, took its latest turn last night after reports that Ashley has been interested in making a bid for embattled music chain HMV.
The news comes after a swathe of mixed Christmas performances from Britain’s largest retailers, many of which have struggled to maintain profits amid growing competition and rising costs.
Earlier this month Debenhams reported a 5.7 per cent drop in like-for-like sales during the 18 weeks to 5 January.
Read more: Debenhams' Christmas sales slip as it continues talks with lenders over its future
Recent figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) also found that the UK retail sector suffered its worst Christmas in a decade last month as sales stagnated during the crucial festive period.
Read more: Retail sector suffers worst Christmas in a decade as sales stagnate
Overall retail sales were flat in December, the lowest level of growth since April and the worst festive performance since 2008.