Supermarkets Sweep Aside Credit Crunch Blues

With most reporting record trading over the festive period

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Christmas proved a successful time for Shepherd’s Bush’s supermarket chains with most appearing to be weathering the economic downturn rather well.

Sainsbury’s, which has a branch on the north side of Shepherd’s Bush Green, reported a 4.5% rise in sales claiming its best-ever performance over the festive season.

Waitrose, with a new branch in Westfield, reported a 41% surge in sales in the week to December 27 and, over the past month, shares in Tesco have risen by 11%.

All this is in stark contrast to Marks & Spencer which revealed its worst sales performance in a decade and announced that it would be closing 27 stores, including 25 Simply Food stores, and making more than a thousand staff redundant. Neither the Westfield Marks & Spencer nor the Simply Food store on the southern side of Shepherd’s Bush Green are on the list of branches slated for closure.

Elsewhere on the High Street, Retail Week reports that House of Fraser, which has a branch in Westfield, said its total sales had climbed 4% in the five weeks to January 3 while fashion retailer Peacocks, with a branch in the West 12 Centre, is said to have made “good gains on margins and gross profits, in the 14 weeks to early January” and to have secured millions of pounds in funding to allow it to expand in 2009.

But, also according to Retail Week, the future of maternity chain Blooming Marvellous, which has a branch in Westfield, is hanging in the balance with an administrator said to be “on standby”.

Meanwhile, the children’s clothing retailer Adams went into administration at the very end of 2008 and although 111 of its stores have closed with the loss of 850 jobs, the Westfield branch remains open and is trading as normal.  

"I am pleased to say that we have had a number of expressions of interest in the Adams business and brand. As a result, we are hopeful that we will be able sell some parts of the business,” said joint administrator and partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Rob Hunt.

PwC were unable to indicate how long it would be before the surviving branches find out their fate.

January 11, 2009