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Next’s online sales growth offsets decline at stores

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Logo of Next shopImage copyright PA

Next has once again seen growth in online sales offset a decline in its shops, with total full price sales up 1.3% during the third quarter.

The fashion retailer’s sales from its website were up 13.2% in the three months to October, but its in-store sales fell by 7.7% over the period.

This continued the trend from the first six months of the year where the online rise offset a loss in its shops.

In a statement, Next predicted a fourth quarter fall in sales of 0.3%.

That is the same total figure by which its sales have fallen so far this year.

Volatile sales

The company said its prediction for the rest of the year “may seem pessimistic compared with our performance in the third quarter, particularly as we believe that our product ranges have continued to improve”.

But it said the third quarter in 2016 was very weak with a fall of 3.5%, while the Christmas period only fell by 0.4%.

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.

And it added that volatility in sales week by week made it hard to determine a trend in customers’ buying habits.

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