Value clothing and fragrances growth outweigh older womenswear concerns
Clothing to fragrances retailer Peacocks increased total sales by 13.2 per cent in the 26 weeks to October 2 this year. Group pre-tax profit was up 24.3 per cent to£14.3 million.

The retailer said the results showed that the strategy of sticking to the value-end markets enabled it achieve growth above and beyond the total market. It also allowed the retailer to fend off encroaching competition from the supermarkets. The core Peacocks division increased like-for-like sales by 9 per cent over the period. Its Fragrance Shop chain also increased like-for-like sales by 9.5 per cent.

Peacocks' older womenswear brand Bonmarché fared less well, however, with a drop in like-for-like sales of 7.2 per cent. This was blamed on Bonmarché's customers being more sensitive to the poor summer, as well as gaps in the product range caused by buying, merchandising and supply chain weaknesses.

Group chairman Gavin Simonds said: 'The Bonmarché division is now benefiting from action to strengthen its buying and merchandising functions, while our recent acquisition The Fragrance Shop has met all our expectations and is achieving impressive sales growth.'