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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 December 2006, 08:08 GMT
Bargain retailer warns on profits
Shoppers in London
Life is tough for many retailers
The firm which owns the Poundstretcher bargain retail chain has issued a profit warning, blaming poor trading conditions and distribution problems.

Instore said full-year profits were set to be well below expectations due to a downturn in business in November.

Sales were hit by problems at the firm's distribution centre following the introducing of new software.

Instore, previously known as Brown & Jackson, has 140 outlets and is owned by the South African retailer Pepkor.

Clearing stock

It is rebranding its Poundstretcher stores as Instore outlets as part of an overhaul of the business which saw it sell its What Everyone Wants chain in 2002.

Instore said sales had improved to date in December but that this would not be sufficient to make up the shortfall from the previous month.

"The effects of the November trading performance, combined with the previously reported costs of the ongoing stock clearance and restructuring programme, are likely to result in full year profits being materially below current market expectations," it said.

But the firm added that like-for-like sales were up 4.6% so far this year and that it had made "good progress" in its efforts to restructure the business.




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