Bellwether high street clothing giant Next is due to report its three-month results on Thursday (4 May) and analysts are predicting a further dip in sales.
According to The Telegraph, forecasts suggest sales in the three months to the end of April will be down by 1.9%. Results for 2016, which were reported towards the end of March, show Next’s overall sales for the year were broadly flat at £4,136.8m (retail sales were down while Directory was up), however it posted its first drop in profits (of 3.8%) since the financial crisis of 2008.
At the time CEO Lord Simon Wolfson said some of the retailer’s problems were of its own making as it had made good progress with faster turnaround trend-led product but had paid insufficient attention to its core bestselling offer.
Analyst Caroline Gulliver of Jefferies told The Telegraph that while “the fifth warmest March since 1910” will have helped clothing retailers, they will also be hit with a shift in spending towards leisure activities and a slump in consumer confidence.