Intense competition and price deflation fails to sway retailer's refusal to join discounting trend
Department store chain Beatties has blamed price deflation and intense competition for a poor year. Turnover for the year ended January 31 increased by£900,000, but like-for-like sales were down 1.5 per cent. Profit before tax was also£1 million lower than the year before, at£4.7 million.

Newly appointed chief executive Brian Heilbron attributed the poor trading results to the retailer's decision to go against the trend and not discount heavily before Christmas.

He said: 'Despite all of the discounting pressures that exist, the company was able to maintain its gross margin at a fraction ahead of the previous year by not chasing turnover again. We believe this to have been the right decision, because insufficient extra sales would have been generated to make up for gross margin erosion.'

The retailer said it has written off£3.2m for the fixtures and fittings of its Birmingham Bullring store from the balance sheet.