Blue Inc has reported like-for-like sales up 7% in the three weeks to January 4, helping the young fashion chain to post a record year.

Total sales were up 26% in the period. The retailer expects that full-year sales to the end of December will be in excess of £46m as its younger customers continue to be less impacted by the recession. Online sales were up 189% for the year.

Rival Republic also performed well over Christmas, last week posting like-for-likes up 8% in the eight weeks to January 4.

Blue Inc managing director Steven Cohen said: “We are very pleased with our performance over the key trading period, reflecting continued emphasis on outstanding product for the young fashion market at excellent prices.

“Our market share has continued to grow and we see further exciting opportunities for organic store growth in the year ahead, notably given the difficulties faced by a number of our competitors.”

Cohen added he was confident that the coming year would continue on a positive trend. He said that keeping Blue Inc’s product directed at a much younger shopper, mainly school and university students and pre-home owners, meant its customers were far less affected by economic pressures.

In 2010 the retailer hopes to grow sales again, aiming to top £56m.

Blue Inc is among the various retailers mulling a float this year. Cohen said that Blue Inc is still considering this option and “will watch market conditions after the forthcoming general election with interest”.

Blue Inc has 84 stores in the UK with its first store in Abu Dhabi opened last year. Since the business was bought from its founder in

2006 Blue Inc has grown 30% year on year.

Last year it opened 15 stores and plans to match that number of store openings this year including two new international stores in Dubai and Bahrain.