The Primark budget fashion chain has bucked the trend in the UK retail market by increasing its like-for-like sales by 3%. Like-for-like sales do not include new stores, when these figures are included the chain showed a drop of 1.5% in overall like-for-like sales. The company was especially pleased with the results as "unseasonably warm weather in October" and "freezing temperatures across northern Europe" meant that sales declined in the autumn and winter sales periods. ‘Our UK performance was remarkable in the circumstances and delivered a strong increase in our share of the total clothing market,’ it said. The weakness of the pound against the US dollar has caused concerns for the company, because import costs have been increased by the relatively weak pound. However, if sterling continues to gain ground against the dollar it expects to see profits grow further. JD Sports also reported like-for-like sales up by 3%, with profits up to £294m (up 24%) in the year to 3 February. Peter Cowgill, executive chairman at the sports fashion firm said, "This is an excellent result demonstrating our capacity for continuing growth in both existing and new markets, and the strength of our offer in store and online". Other chains have not enjoyed such successful results. Next have reported falling profits, with more falls predicted for next year. Other chains are citing rising overheads and lower incomes as reasons for trading difficulties.
Questions - try to discuss these with a colleague, a friend, or someone on the bus...
Are sales up or down at Primark? How are sales figures adjusted for like-for-like sales? Has your company been affected by currency changes or weather fluctuation?
buck the trend – to succeed when most others are not like-for-like (sales) – comparing similar events from two periods overall – complete, not adjusted unseasonable – surprising for the time of year to mean - to result in (in this context) to gain ground against – to improve in comparison with capacity – readiness, ability and opportunity combined to enjoy (results) – to experience positively to cite – to refer to overheads – fixed costs
Can you use this vocabulary to make sentences that are true about your business?
The present perfect is used extensively in this article. The first example is noted below, can you find others? Why is it being used here?
The Primark budget fashion chain has bucked the trend in the UK retail market by increasing its like-for-like sales by 3%. Highlight for solutions … against the US dollar has caused concerns for the company // … because import costs have been increased by the relatively weak pound. // Other chains have not enjoyed such successful results. Next have reported falling profits …
The present perfect is used in the article as no time indicators are included. These events happened in the past but we do not know when.