Next full price sales up 0.7% in second quarter
Fashion and homewares retailer Next has reported that its full price sales edged up 0.7% in its second quarter.
While sales in high street stores were down 7.4% in the three months to 29 July, Next Directory sales climbed by 11.4%,
However, first half full price sales were down 1.2% overall.
In a statement, Next said sales in June and July were better than expected due to warmer weather, although lower markdown sales and improvements in product ranges and online functionality also played a part.
The retailer went into its end-of-season sale in July with 5% less stock which resulted in markdown sales being down 14%. This meant that total sales, including markdown sales, were down 2.1% in the quarter and down 2.3% in the first half. Next said its statutory total sales are understated as a result of a delay in the timing of its directory end-of-season sale despatches. Adjusting for this distortion, underlying total sales in the second quarter were down 1.6% and down 2% in the first half.
Looking ahead, the company said: “In the current environment we remain cautious and are budgeting for second half full price sales to be down 1.2%, which is in line with our performance in the first half.”
Next has now narrowed its sales guidance range for the full year to -3% to +0.5% which is a small improvement to the mid-point of its previous full price sales guidance.
However, the company said its profit guidance remains unchanged, adding: “The improvement in full price sales has been offset with lower clearance rates during the end-of-season sale and the assumption we will experience a similar deterioration in our January sale.”
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