Value variety group falls victim to bad weather
Instore, the value variety store group, became the latest retailer to be hit by bad weather as it posted slowing like-for-like growth.

The retailer, which operates the Poundstretcher chain as well as eponymous shops, reported comparable store growth of 4.1 per cent for the 19 weeks to July 7. In the previous period to May 11, like-for-like growth was 7.9 per cent.

Chief executive Peter Burdon, who was appointed in May just before Seaham Investments bought a 29.8 per cent stake in the business from majority shareholder Tradegro, was cautious about prospects.

He said: 'Although our sales performance in the early weeks of the year benefited from the favourable spring weather, particularly over the Easter period, recent trading conditions have been much more challenging.

'While we endeavour to expand our range of everyday consumer products to help drive regular footfall, the poor weather continues to have a marked impact on sales of our seasonal ranges.'

Instore also said that a cleaner inventory had led to lower markdown activity, so that gross margin was on 'a recovering trend'.