Jan 3, 2020

Next lifts profit forecast after Christmas sales boost

High Street retailer Next has increased its profit forecast after enjoying better than expected sales over the Christmas trading period. The company's full-price sales rose by 5.2% from 27 October to 28 December, 1.1% ahead of its own expectations. Next expects sales to grow 3.9% over the current financial year. The retailer's good performance was boosted by an increase in online sales, which rose by 15.3% over the three-month period. While Next's online sales were strong, the continued shift away from the High Street was reflected by the fact that in-store sales saw a decrease of 3.9%. According to recent data by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard, overall footfall in December on UK High Streets fell by 2.1%. This was the fifth decrease in a row, despite retailers offering big discounts and sales around "Black Friday" and in the run-up to Christmas.

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