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Next reports flattening online sales; Morrisons says focus on customer is paying off

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Next this week pointed to flattening online sales in the third quarter of its financial year. The fashion retailer, a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research, said that while total sales had grown by 0.4% in the year to date, that was largely driven by discounting.

Full-price sales have fallen over the first nine months of the year by 1.5%, compared to the same time last year. Full-price directory sales, which predominantly take place online, have grown by 3.2% over that period, and store-based retail sales have fallen by 4.7%. Over the third quarter of the year, full-price online sales have been flat, while retail sales have fallen by 5.9%.

Next has changed its guidance and now predicts sales will come in in a range of between -1.75% and +1.25%.

Meanwhile Morrisons said its focus on improving the shopping trip was paying off as it attracted more customers and saw a boost to sales. The supermarket, a Top100 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, said total sales, excluding fuel, fell by 1.2% in the third quarter of the year, following the closure of supermarkets and its move away from M local convenience stores. But like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to October 30, strip out the effect of those closures, rose by 1.6%.

Chief executive Dave Potts said like-for-like sales had now been positive for a year. “There is a lot more we plan to do. We will keep investing in becoming more competitive and improving the shopping trip, and I am confident we will serve our customers even better during the important trading period ahead.”

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