Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis’s eponymous retail group updated on seasonal trading today – an interesting business because of its range of interests.

From stationery at Ryman, through hardware at Robert Dyas, to lingerie at Boux Avenue, the tycoon’s operations encompass great variety.

Boux was the star of the show, generating a like-for-like advance of 16.6% over Christmas.

Full-year figures were also released, showing that five-year-old Boux has cut its EBITDA loss in line with plans and UK sales climbed 21.5% to £44.4m.

That means, according to Verdict, that the retailer is now in the top 15 in its category.

Paphitis, like Next boss Lord Wolfson, flagged the weak pound and rising costs as among the clouds on the horizon – he said retail faces “the perfect storm”.

But the success of Boux, and Christmas sales advances at Robert Dyas and Ryman, show that even in turbulent times there is scope to launch new businesses and build established ones.

Amid some gloomy comment about retail prospects this year, surely that’s the message to take away.

We also reported today on Mountain Warehouse’s Christmas success (unlike Theo Paphitis, boss Mark Neale is relaxed about business rates), Dreams’ plans to roll out a new format, CES in Las Vegas and the appointment of Stuart Livingstone as operations director at Pets at Home.

Quote of the day

“Footfall and activity on our high streets and town centres are in decline but businesses like ours are about to see an overall increase instead of a decrease in their rates bill in the next 12 months.”

– Theo Paphitis

Today in numbers


Number of new-format stores Dreams will open this year


Number of ski jackets sold by Mountain Warehouse over Christmas

Tomorrow’s agenda

It’s Saturday, so of course there are no updates. All the best for a successful weekend’s trading.

George MacDonald, Executive Editor