Richard Perks
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Buoyant online sales for Next but stores lag behind

Next has reported that its autumn and pre-Christmas sales were on target after buoyant online business made up for a poor showing at its stores.

Total sales at the clothes retailer between 1 August and 24 December rose 3.1% compared with a year earlier, ignoring the effect of rising VAT.

But its High Street business, which sees some two-thirds of sales, recorded a 2.7% fall, sending Next's share price 4.3% lower in early London trading.

Richard Perks a retail analyst with research group Mintel says consumers are very picky in December and the figures from Next are pretty good.