• Full-price sales down 7% in August and 5.1% in September
  • Full price sales rose 1.3% in October
  • Total sales for year to date up 0.4%

Next suffered during its third quarter before full-price sales were boosted by October’s cold weather.

Total sales were up 0.4% for the year to date but full-price sales have fallen 1.5% during those nine months.

Next’s full-price sales fell 3.5% in the 13 weeks to October 31.

However, this masked a better performance in October, with positive sales growth of 1.3%, thanks to the cold weather.

Sales in August plunged 7% while September’s sales dropped 5.1%, partly owing to tough comparables.

The total drop of 3.5% for the third quarter comprises a drop of 5.9% in Next’s retail division and a flat performance from its directory.

Sales from new space added 1.3%.

The quarter is the latest update in a tough year for the retailer, which was the first to speak out about its strategy to deal with the falling pound.

Boss Lord Wolfson said at its interim results that the retailer wiould be prepared to put up retail prices and pass some of the cost price increase, estimated by Wolfson to be around 5%, to consumers. 

For the year to date, the drop of 1.5% is made up of a fall of 4.7% in retail, a 3.2% uplift in directory and a 1.4% rise generated by new space.

Next also narrowed its sales and profits guidance, which had previously been wide-ranging.

It now estimates that total sales for the year will be between 1.75% lower and 1.25% higher than last year. Profit guidance is now set between £785m and £825m, or between 4.4% lower and 0.5% higher than last year.