Fashion retailer Next has witnessed a drop in sales in its third quarter, with discounting and tough comparisons to its performance last year cited as reasons.
The high street chain’s retail sales was down by 5.9 per cent in the three months to October 31, while group sales were not as bad, decreasing by 3.5 per cent. Sales at the Next Directory online division were flat.
However, sales were up for the month of October, while the Next’s sales for the year so far were up 0.4 per cent.
It added that for the current year so far, items on sale had outsold full-price items, with the latter experiencing a decrease in 1.5 per cent.
The retailer said its guidance was now “marginally lower” than what was given in May, with predictions full-year sales will fall somewhere between 1.75 per cent lower and 1.25 per cent higher than the previous financial year.
This makes it the fourth time this year that Next has downgraded its annual sales guidance.
However, the company said cost savings meant its central profit forecast for the full year remained the same at £805 million.
In September, chief executive Lord Wolfson hinted this quarter would be “difficult” and blamed “economic and cyclical factors working against us” and said the unusually warm September had meant no one was buying winter clothes.
Next has more than 500 stores in its portfolio.