WH Smith has become the latest retailer to blame the bad weather for a fall in sales.

Group sales were down 4% in the 21 weeks to 22 January, the retailer said, with like-for-like sales falling by 5%.

Sales in its high street stores slumped 6%, but excluding entertainment were down just 3%. In its travel division, total sales were flat, with like-for-like sales down 3%.

Despite the slump, chief executive Kate Swann described the performance as “solid”.

“During the period we saw a resilient performance across both our high street and travel divisions, despite challenging weather conditions,” she said. “Looking ahead, we expect the trading environment to remain challenging and we have planned accordingly.”

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Sales slump is bad news for Smiths (17 January 2011)
WH Smith blames ash cloud for slump in sales (8 June 2010)