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How UK Retailers Fared Over Omicron-Hit Christmas

By Donna Ahern
How UK Retailers Fared Over Omicron-Hit Christmas

Britons splashed out on a bumper Christmas, results from the country's biggest retailers show, treating themselves to upmarket food, drink and clothes before the sober reality of surging prices hits home in 2022.

Following is a summary of what major retailers have said so far about their performance over the holiday season.


Britain's biggest retailer raised its profit outlook for the second time in four months as it reported a rise in Christmas sales despite a tough comparative with 2020 when spending was boosted by a COVID-19 lockdown.

Marks & Spencer


Food and clothing retailer Marks & Spencer nudged up its profit outlook after it reported a strong Christmas performance, particularly in food, where it outperformed the market.


Online fashion retailer ASOS reiterated its already downgraded outlook after supply chain constraints and volatile demand limited sales growth in the four months to the end of December.


The UK's second biggest supermarket group raised its full-year profit forecast by at least 9% after grocery sales over the Christmas quarter beat its expectations, even though they fell short of its stellar 2020 festive performance.


JD Sports Fashion 

Britain's biggest sportswear retailer raised its annual profit forecast for the second time in four months as shoppers splashed out on sportswear during the holidays and U.S. consumers spent their stimulus cheques on the latest trends.


The British homewares and furniture retailer reported record Christmas sales, putting it on track to soundly beat profit forecasts and lifting its shares.



The British arm of German discount supermarket group Lidl said its sales rose 2.6% in the four weeks ending 26 December year-on-year as it benefited from shoppers switching from other grocers.

Aldi UK

The British arm of German discounter Aldi said its Christmas performance was boosted by record sales of its premium range and strong demand for beer, wine and spirits, with sales up 8.1% versus 2019.


Next raised its full-year profit outlook for a fifth time in 10 months after beating guidance for sales in the run-up to Christmas, boosted by an unexpected revival in demand for adult formal and occasionwear.



The food-to-go retailer said it anticipated its full-year outcome would be slightly ahead of its previous expectations, after reporting a 0.8% rise in like-for-like sales for its fourth quarter compared to two years ago.


B&M European Value Retail forecast annual profit ahead of estimates, following the discount retailer's decision to take delivery of imported stock earlier than usual.


Electricals retailer Currys warned it faces uncertain demand and more supply chain disruption in 2022, as it trimmed full-year profit guidance by 3% after Christmas sales were dented by a "challenging" technology market.


E-commerce company THG suffered another setback when it said adjusted core earnings margin for 2021 would fall short of expectations due to adverse currency movements, and remain under pressure because of high prices for commodities such as whey.


Luxury brand Burberry said it looked to beat profit expectations after full-price sales accelerated in the third quarter, driven by a strong performance in outerwear and leather goods and a material improvement in Asia and Europe.


Clothing retailer Primark said the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in England had boosted its prospects after December sales were dented by the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern Checkout. For more Retail stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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