Popular UK fashion chain Next have reported that the recent unseasonably warm weather has effected sales, warning it may have to cut its profit forecast if the balmy spell continues.

Next’s shares fell 3.8%, with September’s “unseasonably warm weather” to blame for cutting third quarter sales growth to date to 6% from expectations of 10%. Full-year profits could also be hit if the sun stays out and temperatures remain high until the end of October, as shoppers continue to delay buying winter clothing.

“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 said.

“At present our profit forecast for the full year remains within our previous guidance given on 29 July and reiterated on 11 September, and our experience suggests that some lost sales are regained when the weather turns.

“However, if this unusually warm weather continues for the full duration of October then we are likely to lower our full year profit guidance range of £775m to £815m.”

On 19 September, department store group John Lewis reported a drop in weekly sales, also citing the milder weather as a main factor.


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