By Maximilian Clarke

Shares in Blacks Leisure Group plc (LSE: BSLA) have dipped 25% as the retailer ‘continued to experience challenging trading conditions in a tough economic environment’, the 9-month interim statement shows.

Britain’s retailers continue to struggle as retail expenditure remains stagnant and inflation exceeds wage growth. On Thursday, Sir Philip Green announced his intent to close 260 outlets from the Arcadia group after profits dropped 38% year-on-year.

In line with many other retailers, the Group has noted that these conditions have weakened in the last few weeks as a result of continuing downward pressure on consumer spending, particularly discretionary spending, and consumer confidence.

As a result, the Group is experiencing lower than expected sales and has been taking action to manage margins in order to drive sales. As in previous years, the outcome for the full financial year is substantially dependent on the Group's trading performance over the important Christmas period but based upon recent trading, we now expect the outcome to be below expectations.

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