Next cuts sales forecasts
Fashion and homewares retailer Next has cut its guidance for full year sales after colder weather in March and April reduced demand for its clothing.
The retailer’s total sales for the period from 31 January to 2 May dropped by 0.2% with full price sales down 0.9%. This was at the lower end of sales guidance for the full year of -1% to +4%.
Sales at Next’s high street stores fell by 4.7% in the period.
In a statement, the retailer said: “We believe it is unlikely (but possible) that sales will deteriorate further, and we have seen a significant improvement over the last few days as temperatures have risen. However, the poor performance of the last six weeks may be indicative of weaker underlying demand for clothing and a potentially wider slow-down in consumer spending.”
As a result, Next has lowered its full price sales guidance range to -3.5% to +3.5%. The lower end of the range is based on sales for the rest of the year continuing to run at the rate of the last six weeks.
Next has also widened and lowered the range of its full year profit guidance to between £748 million and £852 million. This compares to the forecast of between £784 million and £858 million issued in March.
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