Oxford street in better and cooler times.

Oxford street in better and cooler times.

The unseasonably warm weather that was witnessed in the run up to Christmas seems likely to have had an impact on sales over the Christmas period.

Next is one of the first major chains to offer a review of Christmas financial performance and the company has described their sales as ‘disappointing’. Surprisingly the company also reported that their online sales had been sluggish.

Poor sales

Between 26 October and 24 December, sales at Next’s High Street shops fell 0.5 percent, but rose two percent online, which still less than expected.

The company is probably hoping that its post Christmas sales period will act to bolster the firm, but the story weather that swept the country on Boxing Day is not likely to have encouraged people to hit the shops.

Lacklusture

Neil Saunders, from retail analysts Conlumino, tweeted after hearing the company’s announcment: “Next’s lacklustre results do not bode well for the rest of the High Street; warm weather was the main source of its woes.”

It has become almost traditional in recent years for a string of High Street firms to announce profit warnings or even collapse in the wake of a bad Christmas. Major stores such as HMV and Jessops both hit the rocks after the Christmas period, leading to a number of nationwide job losses.