After a turbulent couple of years, fashion retailer Jack Wills today delivered some green shoots of recovery in its turnaround bid.

The preppy clothing business turned in a 1% uplift in like-for-like sales during December, alongside some encouraging margin gains.

But a small feather in the cap of its famous pheasant is all these figures can be considered at this stage.

Jack Wills founder Peter Williams is back at the helm, seeking to return the business to former glories after EBITDA slumped 41.4% to £5.1m in the year to January 31 2016.

Distribution operations have been brought back in-house after a problematic outsourcing programme, while last October’s sale of the business to Williams and Liberty owner BlueGem has created scope for investment.

With the canning of an IPO in August 2015 still relatively fresh in the memory, Jack Wills latest update won’t ruffle too many of its rivals’ feathers, but Williams and his business could soon be ready to spread their wings and fly once again.

Speaking of flying, unveiled a 28% spike in sales during the 12 weeks to January 9, while Argos grew its share of the entertainment market by 2.8 percentage points in the 12 weeks to December 18, according to the latest quarterly figures from Kantar.

Tesco is also looking to continue its momentum by rolling out the PayQwiq mobile payments app across its estate and Westgate Oxford has lifted the lid on the latest tranche of retailers joining its line-up.

Quote of the day

“There is a sea change coming over the next three years. The fall in the pound will force the economy to be less reliant on consumer spending, leaving growth heavily dependent upon trade performance”
– Peter Spencer, chief economic adviser, at the EY ITEM Club

Today in numbers


The decline in sales of physical entertainment products, including CDs, DVDs and computer games, in the 12 weeks to December 18.


The number of new leases unveiled by Westgate Oxford today, including JD Sports, Hotel Chocolat and Body Shop.

Tomorrow’s agenda

All eyes will be firmly fixed on Dixons Carphone tomorrow when the electricals giant unveils details of its Christmas trading performance. Analysts’ consensus suggests the retailer will prolong the festive cheer by posting a 3.5% uplift in like-for-like sales during the 10 weeks to January 7.

Luke Tugby, deputy news editor