Having become somewhat accustomed to a cautious and often pessimistic approach, Next boss Lord Wolfson changed his tune today.

The fashion retailer’s prospects, he said, appear “less challenging then they did six months ago” – a fact that prompted a modest upgrade in its full-year profit forecast.

Although sales fell in its first half, Next said the last three months had been encouraging.

Fellow retail bellwether John Lewis Partnership didn’t have quite as much to cheer, as pre-tax profits crashed 53% in the six months to July 29.

Restructuring and redundancy costs hit the Partnership’s bottom line, but chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield insisted such short-term pain would “ensure the Partnership’s success in the future.”

Morrisons, meanwhile, is well on the road to success under David Potts, after posting a 39.9% increase in pre-tax profit to £200m in its first half.

As its supermarkets remain resilient and its wholesale business blossoms, the grocer looks well-placed to build on seven consecutive quarters of growing like-for-likes.

Quote of the day

“We recognise that the issues related to leaving the European Union are extremely complicated but we do want to see justice being done to that complexity. There needs to be a serious parliamentary debate to find the best way forward for the country and economy”

– John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield on Britain’s exit from the EU

Today in numbers


The number of locations from which customers will be able to click and collect online Habitat orders.


The rise in second quarter like-for-like sales posted by food retailer and wholesaler Booker.

Tomorrow’s agenda

With no financial updates scheduled tomorrow, check out a special episode of The Retail Week analysing the most pertinent points of our inaugural Tech. event.

Luke Tugby, head of content