• Debenhams like-for-likes rise 3.7% in seven weeks to January 9
  • Online sales advance 15.4% during the period as click-and-collect gains traction
  • Department store group remains on track to deliver full-year profits in line with expectations

Debenhams has reported a 3.7% rise in like-for-like sales during the festive trading period as it posted a record Christmas week.

The department store group said like-for-likes increased 3.7% on a constant currency basis in the seven weeks to January 9. Online sales advanced 15.4% during the period.

Click-and-collect penetration peaked at 46% during the pre-Christmas period, while Debenhams also hailed “strong” growth in premium delivery services as customers utilised the retailer’s multichannel proposition.

It helped the retailer record a 3.5% hike in like-for-like sales during the longer 19 week period to January 9. Non-clothing categories accounted for 55% of total revenues, which grew 2.5%.

Full-price sales also rose 5% during the half-year to date as Debenhams discounted less and dropped its promotional participation.

As online orders rose during the half-year to date, click-and-collect accounted for 31% of all online orders placed, with m-commerce becoming the department store chain’s “fastest growing” channel.

Debenhams added that its overseas business performed “in line with expectations” during the period, as Magasin du Nord in Denmark delivered a record Christmas.

Outgoing Debenhams chief executive Michael Sharp said: “We have traded well in the first 19 weeks of the financial year with a strong performance over peak resulting in a record Christmas. This performance is evidence that our strategy is working, with our customers finding our mix of products and brands both compelling and great value for money.

“The further improvements to our service proposition and our online presentation have delivered strong multichannel sales growth, building on the progress we saw last year.

“We remain on track to deliver full-year profits in line with market expectations.”