Debenhams has recorded flat like-for-likes in its third quarter. It comes as it revealed new jobs for its revamped Oxford Street store.
In the 16 weeks to June 22, the department store retailer said it performed “robustly” in challenging market conditions as cold temperatures in March and April impacted sales.
For the 42 weeks to June 22, like-for-likes increased 2.1%, while average transaction value edged up 2.6%.
In the third quarter average transaction value jumped 1% as it gained market share across clothing, beauty and home. Debenhams said this is evidence of the strength of its spring/summer collections.
Meanwhile, online sales soared 40% and accounted for 14% of its total sales in the period as traffic to Debenhams.com surged 21.7%.
In the year to date online sales have grown 43.9% and represent 13.1% of total sales.
The results come as Debenhams creates 430 new jobs at its Oxford Street flagship, which is undergoing a significant makeover.
In its update Debenhams also revealed it is expecting flat gross margin for the full year.
It added that it expects cost inflation to come in at the bottom range of expectations at 2%. In addition it saved £2m in costs associated with a delay in its head office relocation, which has resulted in slashing UK cost growth expectations to 1% down from 5% to 7% as originally guided.
Michael Sharp, chief executive of Debenhams said: ”We have managed the business to reflect the market conditions, with a strong focus on stocks, margins and costs. We are also making good progress on the four pillars of our strategy to build a leading international, multichannel brand. As a result, at this stage we remain comfortable with the range of market expectations for profit before tax for the year as a whole. “
In the 16-week period Debenhams refreshed five stores and work has begun on seven more.
Internationally, Debenhams said its sales to franchise partners “continue to be robust” and the retailer is aiming to open 25 stores, with 10 of those launching in 2014.
Its Danish department store business Magasin du Nord delivered a 4.6% jump in like-for-like sales.