Debenhams is blaming inclement weather and the weak economy for poor third quarter sales, according to Reuters.
However, the department store chain added that it’s comfortable with current market expectations for pretax profit in 2013-14, emphasizing a focus on margins, stocks and costs. The chain also considers the 3.1 percent increase in like-for-like sales during the first half of the year as positive, particularly in the face of the cold spring weather and continuing economic challenges. Debenhams also experienced market share gains in home, beauty and clothing, as well as a 40 percent increase in its online sales, though gross margin for the year is predicted to be flat.
Other retail chains are also having difficulties. Inditex, owner of Zara and Massimo Dutti, saw its worst quarterly growth in net profits in four years, and H&M has experienced a considerable drop in recent profits.
On Wednesday, shares in Debenhams closed at 88.5 pence.