Debenhams posts sales decline

DEBENHAMS, Britain’s second-largest department-store company, reported a decline in sales over the last nine months after replacing areas in its outlets run by other retailers with more profitable own labels.

Revenue at stores open at least a year fell 0.4% in the 42 weeks ended June 19, the London-based retailer said. That compares with a 0.3% increase reported in the first half.

Disruption caused by replacing in-store concession areas with the retailer’s own clothing ranges reduced same-store revenue growth by about 1.5%, the company said.

Gross profit margins for the year will exceed a previous forecast for a 0.8 percentage-point gain, helped by growth in Debenhams labels such as Principles by Ben de Lisi, the company said.


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