January 3, 2019 / 10:09 AM / a year ago

How Britain's retailers fared over Christmas

(Reuters) - British retailers are giving updates on Christmas trading, by far their busiest and most important period of the year, stretching from “Black Friday” on Nov. 23 to early January clearance sales.

People shop for last-minute purchases before Christmas on Oxford Street in London, Britain December 23, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner

Investors had been braced for bad news after a major profit warning from the one-time online darling ASOS last month capped a torrid year for the sector marred by shop closures and bankruptcies.

On the high street the run up to Christmas was marked by discounting while the number of shoppers hitting the shops after December 25 fell on previous years.

Following are the highlights:

Reported on Jan. 3.

Next

A late surge in online demand helped British clothing retailer Next to increase sales in the Christmas period, confounding fears of tough festive trading and lifting shares across the battered sector.

Reported on Jan. 2.

JOHN LEWIS

John Lewis [JLPLC.UL] said sales in its department stores rose 4.5 percent in the week ending December 29, boosted by strong demand on Christmas Eve and “a confident start to post-Christmas clearance both online and in shops”.

Reported on Dec. 29.

HMV

Music retailer HMV called in the administrators for the second time in five years after it said demand for CDs and DVDs was disappearing. One of the best known names on the high street, it plans to keep the business running while it tries to find a buyer.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Keith Weir

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