• Online sales in five weeks to January 2 slide 51% to £2.7m
  • Store sales slip 6.4% to £133.8m
  • Revises full-year profits guidance again

Matalan suffered a sharp drop in online sales during the festive period and has been forced to revise its full-year profits forecast again.

Online sales in the five weeks to January 2 slid 51% to £2.7m, while store sales slipped 6.4% to £133.8m, the fashion and homewares retailer revealed. 

As a result Matalan has revised down its full-year earnings to between £54m and £56m. 

It had previously revised down its EBITDA guidance to between £60m and £65m in October.

“Difficult trading conditions continued into December as extremely mild weather inhibited footfall and drove increased discounting across the market,” the retailer’s managing director Jason Hargreaves said.

Verdict Retail analyst Nivindya Sharma attributed the sharp fall in online sales to Matalan cutting online ranges and encouraging “shoppers to shop in stores due to limited online capabilities”.

She added: “The real issue has been the logistical problems at its new northern distribution centre in Liverpool, which hindered online availability.”

In the 13 weeks to November 28, Matalan reported sales edged up 1.5%, while EBITDA slid 18.7% to £32.2m.