Market Report: Debenhams loses out as online retail comes in fashionComments Off on Market Report: Debenhams loses out as online retail comes in fashion
The City is cottoning onto the growing importance of online shopping to fashion retailers.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs predicted “tough times lie ahead for many” if the shift from in-store shopping to online buying continues apace.
If online sales for European clothes shops more than double to 40% as it forecasts, that will be bad news for Debenhams, which is among the least prepared for the change.
Goldman downgraded the retailer to Sell, which sparked a rush for the exit as shares of the department store group dropped 5.55p, or 6.5%, to 79.85p.
Primark parent Associated British Foods lost one of its many City disciples when Goldman replaced its Buy rating with a Sell, causing the shares to fall 38p, or 1%, to 3561p.
Both ABF and Debenhams are still tipped to rise by Goldman, which explained it Sell ratings were based on how well stocks would fare against its other tips.
Among the winners in its health check were Next, which rose 96.75p to a record high of 8111.75p after being upgraded to Buy, and Ted Baker was tipped to hit a new record and jumped 97.34p, or 3%, to 3476.34p.
The heavyweight broker picked an opportune moment, inviting trading activity on a morning when investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of ECB president “Super” Mario Draghi’s decision on whether to extend the central bank’s bond-buying spree.
A lack of direction lifted the FTSE 100 just 6.55 points to 6427.48, with the apparently obligatory decline from mining shares preventing retailers propelling the blue-chip index higher.
Investors warmed to Whitbread, up 125p to 4822p, after Credit Suisse’s soothsayers suggested the Costa Coffee owner would hit new highs next year.
Murmurs in the City about a takeover for Intertek resurfaced, helping the product-testing firm buzz 72p, or 2.5%, higher to 2945p.
Packaging giant DS Smith slipped 13p to 403.4p after first-half, pre-tax profits fell 26% to £91 million. Trevor Green, head of equities at Aviva Investors, a top 10 shareholder, remained upbeat, however, and said: “Even with currency headwinds the company has managed to hit recently upgraded returns targets.”
Greek mobile marketing company InternetQ crashed 83.75p, or 63%, to 50p after Shareprophets.com questioned its accounts, implying similarities with Globo — the Greek business software firm whose executives admitted fraud in October.
InternetQ refuted the allegations, citing “factual inaccuracies”, and claimed the author did not attempt to contact the company before publishing the lengthy blog post.