Warm weather hits Next sales

<p>Next is warning of slowed sales growth following a warmer than expected September.</p>

High street retailer Next has warned of a slower sales growth over the past month due to warmer than weather.

The UK has experienced the driest September since records began and this has been complemented by unseasonably warm weather. While the Indian summer has been welcomed by the British public, Next states that it is responsible for a reduced third quarter sales growth. The company had predicted a ten per cent boost over the past month but this has since been revised to six per cent.

Next benefited from a relatively cool August which allowed for an increase in sales but it is now cautious that if the warm weather continues, it could impact on its growth even further. The company currently operates 500 stores across the UK and Ireland with a further 200 across the globe. However, it is seeing a drop in sales as customers are reluctant to buy winter clothes when it is still warm.

The retailer said in a statement: "Cooler weather in August resulted in several very strong weeks. However, warmer weather in the more important month of September has had the reverse effect."

Next maintained that its profit forecast for the 2014/15 year will remain at between £775 million and £815 million but it is wary of this shift in shopper attitude. It is not just Next feeling the pinch as the likes of John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams have all noticed a lack of winter clothing sales and will be taking a warning from Next's statement.

The high street retailer received a boost earlier in the month when it reported a strong rise in half-year profits as the UK's economy continued to recover. Next announced that pre-tax profits for the six months to July grew by 19.3 per cent to £324.2 million, up from £271.8 million earlier in the year.

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