Like-for-like sales at Woolworths fell 6.5% in the 18 weeks to 2 December.

Retail prices in entertainment are materially below last year and although sales of toys are strong, the sale of seasonal Christmas products is slow, the retailer said in a trading statement.

“In order to achieve results for this financial year around the lower end of market expectations, we will need to achieve a sales uplift for the remainder of the Christmas trading period and continued improvement in margin,” it added.