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Currys, PC World and Argos all report an increase in sales over the Christmas period

Industry Sector

Retail

Published

17 January 2013

Author

Alex De Angelis

Type of News

Market

Dixons Retail, owner of Currys and PC World, and Argos, the high street retailer, have both reported healthy sales growth over the Christmas period.

Ignoring the effect of store openings and closures, sales for Dixons in the 12 weeks to 5 January were up 7% from last year.

UK and Ireland sales rose 8%, despite the lure of fire-sale prices at Comet, the electrical retailer's main rival which collapsed just before Christmas.

Dixons conceded that its profit margins had been squeezed during the reporting period, but attributed this to a change in the mix of products that customers were buying - with low-margin tablet computers selling particularly well - rather than rising costs or price discounts.Dixons Retail

Argos reported robust sales growth as more customers took up its online ordering service and its mobile app.

The retailer reported 2.7% like-for-like growth, during its peak period, with consumer electronics, notably tablet computers, selling well.

Shares in its parent, Home Retail Group, which also owns DIY chain Homebase, jumped 15% on the news.

The firm's "check and reserve" ordering service grew its share of sales from 28% to 31% over the last four months. Orders placed online via mobiles and tablets more than doubled so that 42% of Argos' business is now conducted online.

However, profit wise, Argos reported the same problems as Currys and PC World with the shift in customer demand to lower-margin tablet computers.

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