Fashion retailer Next is poised to be the first winner of festive trading when it is set to say this week that a cold snap perked up sales in the two months to Christmas Eve.
Chief executive Lord Wolfson is expected to say in this Wednesday’s update that full-price total sales in both its stores and catalogue lifted about 2 per cent.
That would reverse a negative trend in the previous quarter when sales slumped 5.9 per cent in an unseasonally warm autumn. City analysts say the retailer is likely to have stuck to its policy in recent years of shunning radical discounting in the Christmas and New Year period to protect profit margins.
However, Wolfson has warned the group may have to hike prices 5 per cent in 2017 as it faces a jump in input costs because of the slide in the pound.
Among those following Next in reporting updates this month will be Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Burberry, Majestic Wines and Topps Tiles.