Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.

2:09pm David Payling joins Furniture Village

Former DFS executive David Payling has joined Furniture Village as director of stores this week. 

He began his career with DFS as a salesman and rose through the ranks to be appointed Retail Operations Director in 2012. 

Earlier this month DFS reported a rise in gross sales of 10% over a five-month period, despite what it described as a “challenging consumer environment”.

The furniture retailer registered growth across all of its brands and a 22% growth in terms of gross online sales.

11:50am John Lewis shutters its smallest store

John Lewis & Partners will close its smallest full line store, Knight & Lee & Partners in Southsea, this July, putting 127 partners at risk of redundancy.

The department store chain said that there was a number of factors behind its decision to shut up shop, reasoning that its 35,000 sq ft size and the age of the store restricted the customer offer. It added that John Lewis had been presented with a “unique commercial opportunity” to sell the freehold of the business and that it was not planning any other closures.

 Operation director Dino Rocos said: ”We are doing everything we can to offer [partners] roles elsewhere in our business and finding suitable roles for as many partners as possible is an absolute priority. Nevertheless, there will unfortunately be some redundancies and we will work hard to support all the partners affected.”

7:41am Burberry Christmas sale dip despite like-for-like rise

The luxury fashion retailer recorded a 1% decline in overall revenue in the 13 weeks to December 29 to £711m, down 2% on a constant currency basis.

Like-for-likes increased 1% during the period as Burberry reaffirmed its full-year profit guidance.

7:33am Hotel Chocolat posts “strong” Christmas sales uplift

Hotel Chocolat has reported a rise in its Christmas sales driven by new stores and hot-seller Velvetiser hot chocolate.

The confectionary retailer recorded a 15% rise in sales in the 13 weeks to December 30, bolstered by a 5% uplift in sales from new stores.

The retailer posted sales uplift across retail, onine and wholesale divisions during the period.

7:25am WHSmith sales rise bolstered by travel arm

WHSmith recorded an increase in sales as a decline in its high street division was offset by a strong performance in its travel division.

The books and stationery read posted a 6% uplift in total sales in the 6% in the 20 weeks to January 19 and flat like-for-likes.

The retailer’s travel arm posted a 16% climb in total sales, up 8% excluding its InMotion fascia, with like-for-like sales up 3%.

High street sales declined 1% during the period with like-for-likes down 2%.

7:20am Joules interim profits and sales increase

Joules has recorded a rise in profits above expectations, which boss Colin Porter says is a “testament to the strength of our distinctive brand”.

The fashion retailer recorded a 14.7% uplift in underlying pre-tax profit to £10.7m in the 26 weeks to November 25 2018, driven by a 17.6% climb in group revenue to £113.1m.

The retailer’s international revenue soared 64.2% during the period to represent 15.8% of overall group revenue, while the number of active customers increased 20% to 1.4 million.