Next sales boosted by heatwave
Next has reported that its full price sales rose by 4.5% in the first half of its financial year after second quarter sales exceeded expectations.
In May the retailer advised that full price sales for the rest of the year were likely rise by around 1% but today Next said full price sales in the second quarter were up 2.8% on last year and ahead of its guidance.
Online sales in the quarter climbed by 12.5% as trade was driven by growth in the retailer’s overseas and third party brands business, as well as modest growth in sales of Next branded items in the UK. However, sales in the retailer’s stores fell by 5.9% in the period.
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Next said the 2.8% uplift in the quarter was due to the heatwave driving sales of summer products but added that some sales will have been pulled forward from August, which means it will be maintaining its sales and profit guidance for the year to January 2019.
The retailer went into its end-of-season sale one week earlier than last year with around 20% less stock. It said clearance rates to date have been better than expected and have added approximately £4 million to profit although this has largely been offset by higher warehouse and distribution costs.
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