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Asos and Debenhams report UK online sales up by more than 25% over Christmas

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Asos and Debenhams today both reported strong online growth over the Christmas period.

Debenhams said online sales grew by 28.9% in the four weeks to January 10, helping group sales to grow by 4.9%, on a like-for-like basis, over the same period. The department store group said it had a record week in the run up to Christmas, while the Black Friday effect boosted sales by 10.3% over the week – and 125% on Black Friday itself.

Debenhams chief executive Michael Sharp said: “I am pleased with our performance in the critical Christmas trading weeks, driven by our strength in a diverse range of product categories and a strong marketing campaign focussed on gifting. Our performance steadily improved following the well-documented challenges in the clothing market in the autumn. We now have a competitive online proposition with next-day delivery to home and next-day click and collect, which customers took full advantage of and which performed well over Christmas.”

Meanwhile, Asos said UK sales grew by 27% in the six weeks to January 9. However, international growth was muted at 5%, taking overall retail sales growth up by 15%. The proportion of total Asos sales made overseas fell back to 51%, from 56% previously.

Chief executive Nick Robertson said trading had been in line with expectations, and that the 5% growth in international sales showed an early “encouraging response” to its investment in price.

“Our roll out of zonal pricing continues to be on track,” he said. “Our programme of investment in our IT platform and our distribution capability are also progressing well.”

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