Nov 1, 2017

Next shares fall despite online sales offsetting store woes

Next has once again seen growth in online sales offset a decline in its shops, amid what it called "Extremely volatile" trade in the third quarter. The fashion retailer's website sales rose 13.2% in the three months to October, but in-store sales fell 7.7%. Overall, total sales rose 1.3%. This continued the trend from the first six months of 2017 with online sales offsetting a fall in shop purchases. In its trading update, Next predicted that sales in the fourth quarter would fall by 0.3% - the same figure by which its sales have fallen so far this year. It said the third quarter last year was very weak with a fall in sales of 3.5%, while the Christmas period only fell by 0.4%. Next said its sales performance in the third quarter had been "Extremely volatile" and was "Highly dependent on the seasonality of the weather". So far in 2017, the retailer's online sales have gone up by 9.4% with purchases in-store falling by 7.7%. The company said that clearance rates in its summer end-of-season sale were lower than last year and that trend had continued into the third quarter.

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