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Thursday, 18 January, 2001, 08:15 GMT
Arcadia sees sales up
principles for men shopfront
Arcadia is closing Principles for Men
The UK's second biggest fashion retailer, Arcadia, has become the latest company on the High Street to announce a boost in sales over Christmas.

Like-for-like sales were up 4.3% for the five months ending 13 January, following a restructuring of its brands which include Top Shop, Burtons and Dorothy Burtons.

The chain also reported that it had less unsold stock for the period.

Total sales for ongoing brands were up 2.3% during this time, trading from 5.3% less space.

These latest figures follow a tough year for the company which announced plans to close 400 of its 1,700 shops, including the Principles for Men and Richards stores.

"Our attention is now focused on the development of our strategy to realise the longer-term potential of Arcadia Group," said the retailer's chief executive Stuart Rose who joined the company last year from frozen food retailer Iceland.

The market reacted favourably to Arcadia's apparent revival in fortunes. In midday trade, the shares rose 1.5p to 120.5p.

That compares to the 51p that the shares stood at before Stuart Rose replaced John Hoerner as chief executive last November.

Restructuring

Arcadia is one of the mid-market retailers - alongside Marks & Spencer - which has been hit by price deflation and increased competition on the high street.

The troubled retailer has been undergoing a restructuring recently, ditching the Richards and Principles for Men brands and incorporating several of its brands in many of its stores.

By the end of February, 300 of its stores will have been closed.

Speculation is that more brands could be axed - Miss Selfridge, Principles, Racing Green, Wade Smith, Warehouse and Hawkshead - are those that have been mentioned.

In October, Arcadia reported a pre-tax loss for the full year of 8.5m.

In the previous year the company made pre-tax profits of 41.8m.

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See also:

13 Apr 00 | Business
Arcadia ditches jobs and shops
19 Oct 00 | Business
Arcadia plunges into loss
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