Slowing like-for-like sales declines at Alexon have given analysts cause for optimism for 2010.

A 14% slump in like-for-likes for the 16 weeks to November 21 was a significant improvement on the figures for the start of 2009.

In the eight weeks to September 26  like-for-likes at the fashion group, which owns fascias including Ann Harvey and Dash, fell 16.9%, but improved in the following eight weeks, down 8.7%.

During the year Alexon began to move from a discount to full-price merchandise strategy as part of its turnaround plan revealed in March.

Oriel Securities said like-for-likes were down as much as 25% at the start of the year, while the most recent figures showed a marked improvement. Analyst Ramona Tipnis said: “We are pleased by the evolution of the brands and believe this will begin to manifest in numbers as we move into the new year.”