High street bellwether Next is expected to announce disappointing sales when it reports on its Christmas trading later this week.
Analysts at stockbroker Numis have predicted that the retailer will post a 0.5% year-on-year drop in sales for the two months to Christmas Eve, including Black Friday, The Sunday Times reports.
The expected drop comes off the back of sluggish footfall across the high street and increasingly fierce discounting around the Christmas season.
Next previously reported that full-price sales had dipped by 0.3% in the nine months to 29 October. Total sales, including markdowns, were down 1.2%.
In November, Next announced plans to trial shop-in-shops with Tesco in the supermarket giant’s Surrey Quays store.