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UK non-food retailing has got worse - Kingfisher

Britain's non-food retailers have seen a drop in demand since Christmas, although the market for do-it-yourself products appears to have held up better, the head of home improvements retailer Kingfisher said.

"Talking to non-food retailers, there has definitely been a step down since Christmas," Ian Cheshire told Reuters on the sidelines of the Retail Week conference on Wednesday.

However, Cheshire said Kingfisher's own home improvements market, where the group runs British market leader B&Q, appeared to have been "a bit more robust," helped in part by a weak comparative performance at the start of last year.

He pointed to a better than expected 3.8 percent rise in underlying sales reported by rival Homebase last week, even as Homebase's parent Home Retail issued a profit warning.

Source : Reuters

16 March 2011
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