Luxury fashion retailer Mulberry has posted a fall in sales which the group said was impacted by a “challenging macroeconomic backdrop” and a decline in luxury consumer spending.

In the 13 weeks to December 30, Mulberry posted a fall of 8.4% in group revenue year on year, while total retail sales dipped 1.5%.

UK retail sales fell 4% as international retail sales saw an increase of 3.9%. 


The outlook at Mulberry remains positive

Group revenue inched up 0.1% in the 39 weeks to December 30 year-on-year, but results for the full year will be affected by the “additional operational costs” of new stores in Sweden and Australia, as well as the ongoing investments in technology to support future growth.

The group remains “confident” that it will see future sustainable growth through its new investments.

Mulberry chief executive Thierry Andretta said: “In the run-up to Christmas, the macroeconomic environment continued to impact consumer spending in the luxury retail sector, which Mulberry was not immune from. 

“Despite this, the group maintained its discipline and focus on a full-price strategy against an unusually high promotional environment.” 

VAT free drawback

Andretta continued: “Our international sales remained positive, supported by our strategy to bring in-house ownership of overseas stores.

“In the UK, we continue to believe the lack of VAT-free shopping is impacting the retail landscape, as well as the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors. 

“Looking ahead, we are continuing to execute our plans and remain confident that our investments will underpin future sustainable growth.”