While pundits forecast choppy waters ahead for the retail sector, fashion chain Next seems to be bucking the trend thanks to a rise in sales over the Christmas period.
The retailer has upgraded its profit forecast and signalled that inflation pressures are set to ease after full price sales in the 54 days to December 24 increased 1.5%, ahead of expectations.
Part of the improvement, the company said, was down to much colder weather leading up to Christmas.
Next saw online sales jump 13.6% in the period, helping mitigate a 6.1% decline in high street sales.
The firm has subsequently increased its full-year profit guidance by £8 million to £725m.
Next say: “Many of the challenges we faced last year look set to continue into the year ahead.
“Subdued consumer demand driven by a decline in real income, the increase in experiential spending at the expense of clothing, and inflation in our cost prices remain challenges for 2018,” .