Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 14°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Slow start to year for department stores group Beales after busy Christmas

06:00 22 March 2014

The Beales store in Lowestoft.

The Beales store in Lowestoft.

Archant

Department stores chain Beales, whose 30 UK sites include branches in Lowestoft, Beccles, Diss and Saffron Walden, has reported a 4% fall in like-for-like sales for the 19 weeks to March 15.

shares

The group said the decline reflected a slow start to the period after promotions of the previous year were not repeated and shoppers opted to buy presents closer to Christmas.

The 14 days of Christmas saw like-for-like sales increase 4.1% as shoppers returned to local high streets for late Christmas shopping, Beales said, but, post-Christmas, customers were seeking to secure a bargain, with “sale rails” the first port of call for many people entering its stores.

The first three weeks of the new calendar year saw like for like sales increase 9.0%, which even allowing for the snow and ice in the prior year, reflected good growth, Beales said.

The end of January and most of February were materially affected by the flooding and inclement weather that affected the UK and like-for-like sales were behind 5.6% during this period compared to the same period last year.

The start of March had seen a continuing improvement in trade as the warmer temperatures, the appearance of sunshine and the introduction of brighter and more colourful spring/summer product is introduced into the stores, it added.

Chief executive Michael Hitchcock said: “With limited cash resources and limitless employee engagement, enthusiasm and passion in and for the business, we continue to turn Beales around; working, engaging and collaborating with all stakeholders, we have the ambition to be the local high street department store of choice securing repeat business by offering the highest possible customer service.”

shares

0 comments

Post Office services to return to Yoxford

The Post Office in a Suffolk town is moving to new premises, and will offer longer opening hours.

Dame Fiona Kendrick:, chief executive of Nestlé  UK & Ireland

Food giant Nestlé has announced plans to close its defined benefit pension scheme, sparking the threat of industrial action.

The Treasury has sold another 1% stake in Lloyds Banking Group.

The taxpayers’ stake in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen to below 16% after the Government sold off another tranche of shares.

The installation of solar panels on the roof of Precision Marketing Group's premises in Lamdin Road, Bury St Edmunds

A Suffolk-based firm will be among the organisations taking part in a nation-wide celebration of solar energy tomorrow.

Candy Gaga'’s Wanda Hewell, right, and daughter, Cherish.

Tower Ramparts in Ipswich now has its very own castle – thanks to the success of a local sweet shop business.

Stansted Airport

A report into the future of Britain’s airports does not rule out a second runway at Stansted – and raises fears of extra night flights to the Essex airport.

Growth in manufacturing eased last month  to its slowest level in two years.

Britain’s manufacturing sector grew at its slowest pace in more than two years last month, impacted by subdued demand from Europe.

Speedy Hire
 has warned that its results for this year will come in

Tool rental business Speedy Hire saw nearly a third of its stock market value wiped off after it announced the shock departure of its chief executive and warned over a major blow to full year profits.

Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand.

Pubs and brewing group Greene King today posted another year of record revenues, with sales within its key Retail division topping £1billion for the first time.

Suffolk Coastal considers convenience store bid

Planning chiefs have responded to concerns about noise and antisocial behaviour arising from proposals for a new convenience store in Kesgrave by insisting on closing times being brought forward an hour and the installation of a barrier to restrict overnight parking.

Most read

Topic pages