Department store's offer review turns in sales increase
Liberty store owner Retail Stores has reported that the department store increased December retail sales by 14 per cent, compared with the same period a year ago. The retailer said that in its first full week of its post-Christmas Sale, volumes were also up by more than 5 per cent compared with last year.

Retail Stores put the increases down to the strengthening of the Liberty brand through a management restructure and a review of the store's offer last year. The figures illustrated the store's strong half-year trading results, the retailer said, with sales for the 26 weeks to December 25 up 10 per cent on the previous year. Gross margins improved over the period by 1 per cent, through judicious use of markdowns.

Retail Stores chief executive Iain Renwick said: 'December's performance has been most encouraging in view of the generally difficult retailing environment - Hard work behind the scenes to reposition Liberty as London's destination store has borne fruit. We are also making tremendous progress in increasing the level of Liberty own-brand goods in the store and the success of Liberty branded giftware over the Christmas period reflects that. Without a doubt we are turning Liberty around.'