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Games excel for Virgin

Like-for-like sales in Virgin’s games department grew by a massive 32 per cent year-on-year in the five weeks ending January 7th. This compares to a 4.8 per cent increase in DVD and a 0.1 per cent increase in music.

Overall the chain enjoyed a like-for-like sales increase of 3.2 per cent, though more surprising is the fact that it also managed to increase its profit margin by 0.1 per cent at a time where competition on entertainment products is the fiercest it has ever been. Year to date margins increased by 2.2 per cent.

“Contradictory to retail industry concerns prior to the Christmas period, shoppers returned to the High Street in their droves following a sluggish start to the season,” explained MD Simon Douglas. “The third week of December saw a sales increase of over 44.8 per cent week-on-week.

Douglas, however, did go on to issue a cautionary note for Central London outlets: “Whilst we had some fantastic regional performances, a particular concern is West End stores. The district has really suffered since the London bombings, and with an increase in congestion charges and public transport, it will remain a challenge.”

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