By Daniel Hunter

Home Retail, the parent group for Argos, have confirmed that the retailer failed to meet forecasts despite a significant boost from Black Friday sales.

The group, which also owns Homebase, reported a 45% increase in sales on Black Friday. However, like-for-like sales in the last 18 weeks nudged up just 0.1%, compared with expectations of a like-for-like increase of 2%.

John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, said: "I am pleased with our overall performance during our important peak trading period, having managed through a volatile trading environment with good control of both gross margin and costs.

"This year's adoption of 'Black Friday' promotional events generally by the UK market significantly impacted the shape of Argos' sales over its peak trading period.

"In anticipation of volatility in trading patterns and the profit pressure caused by aggressive promotions, Argos pursued a more cautious trading stance over the period.

"This resulted in broadly flat like-for-like sales, but achieved both improved gross margins and good cost management."

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