Next posts second quarterly sales rise but warns of tough Christmas

Next has posted its second consecutive quarter of sales growth, but warned of challenging times ahead.

Full price sales in the third quarter were up +1.3% on last year, driven by cooler weather in August in September, which helped shift warmer weight stock.

Next also a witnessed a strong performance from its directory business, with sales climbing 13.2% in the three months to October 29.

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However, the company’s stores continued to struggle, with sales down 7.7%.

Next said in a statement today: “We explained in our August Trading Statement that clearance rates in our summer end‐of‐season sale were lower than last year. In line with our budget and previous guidance, this trend has continued into the third quarter, both in the mid‐season Sale and our clearance operation.”

Including discounts, total sales were up 0.8% over the quarter and are down 1.2% for the year to date.

Next has maintained a full-year sales guidance of ‐3.0%, explaining that although this may seem “pessimistic”, sales performance has remained “extremely volatile” and is “highly dependent” on the seasonality of the weather.

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