Toys R Us UK Christmas sales slip

Meanwhile, US sales show healthy increase, boosted by pop-up stores.
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Toys R Us has announced its total sales and comparable store sales for the month of December and the 2010 Christmas season.

For the month of December, US sales grew by 5.4 per cent, driven by new stores including Toys R Us Express locations. Like-for-like sales also grew by 2.2 per cent.

For the nine-week Christmas season (October 31st, 2010 to January 1st, 2011), the US sales grew 5.3 per cent, with a like-for-like sales increase of 2.2 per cent.

The retailer said that online sales growth (which is included in comparable store sales) was particularly strong during the Christmas season.

Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO, Toys R Us, commented: “We are pleased that we have now delivered five consecutive years of positive comparable store sales growth in the US during the month of December.

“Throughout the season, we demonstrated our industry-leading position in the toy category by providing a broad assortment of unique and hot products, a differentiated shopping experience, and knowledgeable customer service.”

International sales declined by 3.6 per cent in the month of December, reflecting a like-for-like decline of five per cent, partially offset by sales from new locations.

For the nine-week Christmas season, international sales fell by 3.4 per cent, including a comparable store sales decline of 4.7 per cent.

International total sales performance for the holiday season varied by country, driven by declines in the UK and Spain, partially offset by positive growth in Canada and Japan.

Across the entire company, the Core toy and learning categories generated the strongest total sales growth. Conversely, the entertainment category, which includes video game hardware and software, was the weakest as it continued to experience sales declines.

Mr. Storch added, “We look forward to the year ahead as we continue to execute our long-term growth strategies, including the integration of our juvenile and toy businesses along with expansion in the US and international markets.”

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