Next’s sales return to growth in Q3 with strong online performance

Next sales returned to growth in Q3, bolstered by the retail chain’s online division.

In the quarter to 29th October, Next’s retail sales fell 7.7 per cent, but its directory sales, which includes website and catalogue sales, jumped 13.2 per cent.

Total sales for the period rose 1.3 per cent. For the year to date, sales were down 0.3 per cent.

The retailer revised its full-year profit forecast upwards to between £692m and £742m. Its previous forecast range was between £687m and £747m.

A statement released by the company said: “The guidance implies that our fourth quarter will be down -0.3 per cent and this may seem pessimistic compared with our performance in the third quarter (up 1.3 per cent), particularly as we believe that our product ranges have continued to improve.

“However, as we highlighted in September, the third quarter last year was very weak, down -3.5 per cent on 2015, whereas the Christmas trading period was only down 0.4 per cent.

“So the comparative numbers are much more demanding in the last quarter.”