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Next's full-price sales rise

Next’s full-price sales including interest income were up 2% year on year in the three months to 26 October, as the weather turned more autumnal. 

In-store sales fell 6.3% compared to the same period in 2018, while online sales grew by 9.7%. Product full-price sales were up 1.6% for the quarter. 

Meanwhile, total full-price sales for the year to 26 October were up 3.5%, compared to 2018. 

As a result, the company said it is maintaining its guidance for full year group profit before tax to be £725m, up 0.3% on last year.

“We believe that strong sales in July pulled forward sales from August”, Next said in its trading statement. ”Sales in September were adversely affected by unusually warm weather and we saw a significant improvement in October when temperatures fell. We believe the improved sales growth in October recouped some of the lost sales in September and we do not expect sales growth for the rest of the year to be as strong as October.”

Next will issue a Christmas trading update on sales to Saturday 28 December on Friday 3 January. 

Commenting on the trading update, Richard Lim, CEO, Retail Economics said: “Winter ranges suffered from unseasonably warm and unsettled weather at the start of the quarter, but the trading period was saved as temperatures fell in October which spurred on demand. While pure in-store sales remained under pressure, online continued to impress with both physical and digital channels working in harmony to deliver growth in a tough market. Overall, these are solid numbers and reflect the successful repositioning of the business in recent years.

“However, the wider market remains under pressure and news of a general election just before Christmas couldn’t come at a worse time for retailers. Ongoing Brexit uncertainty and hostile political wrangling will further undermine consumer confidence with the risk of Christmas cheer evaporating as political debates heat-up.”



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