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Next blames warm weather for 'disappointing' sales

The retailer blamed the mild weather for poor sales performance in its stores. Credit: PA Wire

High street chain Next has blamed unseasonably warm weather for "disappointing" sales figures in the run-up to Christmas.

The retailer said that full-price sales fell by 0.5% in its stores in the 60 days up until 24 December.

Sales at its Next Directory and online catalogue arm rose by 2%, although the company said there had been a slowdown in its Directory business due to poor stock availability.

The company also said that tougher online competition contributed to its trading problems.

Specifically, we believe that Next Directory's disappointing sales were compounded by poor stock availability from October onwards.

In addition, the online competitive environment is getting tougher as industry-wide service propositions catch up with the Next Directory.

– Next spokesperson

Next expects its full-year profits to come in towards the lower end of its £817 million forecast, although this would still be a 4.4% increase on the previous year.

The firm is the first of the major retailers to release its Christmas trading figures.

Roads closed and man arrested over Enderby fight

Road closures remain in place Credit: PA

Road closures are in place and an arrest has been made after a traffic collision reportedly resulted in a fight last night.

Police were called to Blaby Road at about 8.50pm following reports of a collision that is believed to have involved three vehicles and a caravan.

Following the collision a quarrel took place at the scene and two people sustained minor injuries.

A 20-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and remains in police custody.

Blaby Road from the Foxhunter Island to its junction with Leicester Lane and High Street, remains closed while enquiries continue at the scene.

One man sustained injuries as a result of the collision and was taken to hospital for treatment.

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'People's mental health may deteriorate' after garden destroyed

A community garden scheme, which has been recognised as one of the country's finest green spaces for three years running, has been severely damaged from an arson attack.

A Place to Grow in Enderby was attacked by vandals on Saturday afternoon.

The fire left the two large sheds, one of which was purchased and built by the local community, completely gutted.

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Sales up 3.9% for Next

The growth has come from the Next Directory sector of the business Credit: PA

Retailing giant Next have seen a large growth in the Next Directory sector of their business pushing their growth across the year ending in January to 3.9%.

Although this is largely in line with expectations cost control has seen the company increase its profit estimates to £618 million.

Despite the progress, Simon Wolfson, Chief Executive, warned trading conditions were likely to remain difficult this year as wage growth continues to lag behind inflation.

Next Retail's headquarters are in Enderby in Leicester.