Fashion and home furnishings retailer Next has reported a ‘difficult’ third quarter as larger discounting impacted sales.
According to its latest trading statement to 31 October 2016, total store sales fell 5.9%, whilst its Next Directory online sector saw flat sales, resulting in an overall 3.5% fall in full price sales.
Due to a ‘larger end-of-season sale in July’ and tough comparative records from last year, which saw September trade against its best month in 2015, Next said it has narrowed its sales guidance to -1.75% to +1.25%, compared to its previous range of -2.5% to +2.5%.
Total sales for the year to date indicated that sale items were outperforming full price items, which in turn has boosted total sales by 0.4% on last year – despite full price sales suffering a 1.5% fall.
Next also revealed that its top end pre-tax profit forecast for the year has been lowered to in-between £785m to £825m compared to £775m to £845m it previously stated.
Next said: “The mid-point of our new sales range is marginally lower than previous guidance. However, cost savings have also been better than expected, so our central profit forecast (as set out in our September report and presentation) remains unchanged at £805m.”