Next warns of challenging retail market
Fashion and homewares retailer Next has warned that the retail market “remains challenging” as it reported that total sales, including markdowns, fell by 2.5% in its first quarter.
In the 13 weeks to 29 April, full price sales were down 3%. While sales at its high street stores declined by 8.1%, online sales were up 3.3%.
In a statement, the company said: “The UK consumer environment remains challenging, particularly in the clothing and homeware markets, and real wage growth is now close to zero.
“In our full year results announcement in March we talked about omissions in some of our product ranges. We said that we expected some improvements from May onwards, but that our ranges would not be where we wanted them to be until the Autumn season in September. We still believe this to be the case.”
The results have led Next to reduce the upper end of its profit forecast. It now expects its full year profits to be between £680 million and £740 million compared to the previously guided £680 million to £780 million.
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