A DFS profit warning and gloomy ONS retail sales rocked the industry today, highlighting that prolonged uncertainty is a genuine cause for concern.

DFS boss Ian Filby warned earlier this year that consumer uncertainty, prompted by the Brexit vote, would impact trading.

But a lethal cocktail of unseasonably warm weather, an early Easter and a snap election thrown in for good measure, conspired to wipe around 12% off its EBITDA outlook for the year.

Independent analyst Nick Bubb predicted the profit warning would “go down like a proverbial lead balloon with the City” and, if the battering retail shares have taken since is anything to go by, he’s right.

Amid the post-election fog, at least one thing is certain: if shoppers decide not to part with their hard earned cash for a while, there will be more downgrades to follow.

Read more on how to navigate the post-election uncertainty here.

Elsewhere in the news, JD boss Peter Cowgill – as the newly appointed chairman of fashion retailer Quiz – chose an arguably unfortunate day to unveil plans for a stock market listing on AIM.

Quote of the day

“We have not seen lower growth in the year since April 2013. Increased retail prices across all sectors seem to be a significant factor in slowing growth.”

– ONS senior statistician Ole Black commenting on May’s retail sales

Today in numbers


The jump in first-quarter profits for Zara owner Inditex


Majestic Wine’s full-year pre-tax loss

Tomorrow’s agenda

Tomorrow, on the day of its AGM, Tesco will issue a first-quarter update.

Emily Hardy, senior reporter