UK interiors and homewares retailer Dunelm had a tough time of it in the first half as pre-tax profits plunged 26% on the back of a generally weak market and supply problems. But online surged and the firm is upbeat.
J.C. Penney Co Inc reported a decline in same-store sales for Nov. and Dec., the latest department store chain to reflect the malaise in the sector as shoppers increasingly eschew brick-and-mortar stores and shop online.
Disappointing holiday-season sales at Macy's Inc and Kohl's Corp underscored the uphill task facing department stores to win back shoppers, who are increasingly turning to online retailers and spending less on apparel.
Online shopping continues to gain ground in Europe with two-thirds of internet users e-buying in 2016, according to a survey from Eurostat. And fashion is a key product category, especially for young shoppers.