UK value retailer QD Commercial Group Holdings has posted increased like-for-like (LFL) sales over the key Christmas period for the fourth consecutive year.
The group, which operates 51 stores under the QD, Cherry Lane Garden Centre, Thingmebobs and Lathams brands, saw sales up by 5.41% during the three weeks preceding Christmas compared with the same period in 2012.
QD sales by department for the period were up 24.5% (Christmas), 21.7% (grocery), 10.9% (giftware), 18.9% (plants, seeds etc).
Post-Christmas LFL sales are currently (7 January 2014) 16.9% up year-on-year, the company reports.
“In common with many other value retailers, our trading position over the festive season has been encouraging given the presently flat state of the retail sector,” said QD Stores Group managing director, Justin Farrington Smith. UK retail sales overall in December 2013 were up 1.5% compared with a year earlier, while like-for-like sales rose 0.3%, according to the British Retail Consortium.
“While challenging conditions face our high street business, we saw a contrastingly strong performance from our leisure and destination sites,” said Farrington Smith.
Last August, QD reported a 4.0% year-to-date, LFL sales increase with above-average summer trading driven by seasonally-adjusted promotions across its apparel, garden and leisure business.
Summary analysis of top-selling Christmas lines at QD suggests the traditional British Christmas is as popular as ever, with real Christmas trees and outdoor lit objects up over 30% on last year, respectively, while sales of Christmas jumpers, turkey tins, granulated gravy and stuffing reached record highs.
QD anticipates Christmas 2014 sales boosted significantly by a new transactional online facility spanning all of its products lines planned to be operational by end March.