Bonmarché shares halve after sales slump

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Shares in fashion chain Bonmarché fell sharply after the group warned it could slip to a full-year loss of up to £4m.

The budget retailer’s shares lost 50% before settling to a 40% loss.

The decline follows “extremely poor” Black Friday sales and continuing subdued shopper demand amid Brexit uncertainty.

Bonmarché said: “consumer behaviour is not following last year’s pattern, nor the pattern of any year we have experienced previously,”

The company said sales had not recovered since Black Friday, “despite the application of extensive discounts” and predicted sales would not recover to normal levels in the short term.

“We believe that uncertainty surrounding Brexit is a significant factor affecting demand and, therefore, that it may not strengthen until the current period of heightened uncertainty ends,” it said.

The Yorkshire-based firm has 312 outlets around the UK, selling clothes at the lower-priced end of the market, predominantly aimed at women over 50.

It had already warned in September that profits would be lower for the year after warmer weather dented early autumn sales.