Happy Christmas for bargain fashion chain

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Fashion chain New Look said today that it enjoyed a successful Christmas after sales rose 2.8 per cent on a comparable basis with a year earlier.

With the privately-owned retailer not dragged into the high street's pre-Christmas price war, margins also improved in the 14 weeks to 3 January.

Chief executive Carl McPhail said: "Despite the well-documented pressures facing retailers and the UK consumer, I am pleased with the performance of the group over the Christmas period."

New Look has 607 stores in the UK and Ireland and is one of the leading womenswear retailers in the UK with an estimated 5 per cent market share.

As well as the 2.8 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, New Look said total sales were 14.5 per cent higher after it added 350,000 sq ft of space with new stores at Liverpool, London's White City and Meadowhall in South Yorkshire.

It said: "Despite unprecedented levels of discounting on the high street, New Look maintained its trading stance in line with last year and launched its sale on Boxing Day."