September 19, 2019 / 7:38 AM / 3 months ago

Next's poor autumn trading due to warm weather, not Brexit - CEO

LONDON (Reuters) - The boss of British clothing retailer Next has attributed a disappointing start to trading in the first few weeks of the autumn season to warm September weather rather than Brexit uncertainty.

“That’s not just a guess,” Chief Executive Simon Wolfson told Reuters, pointing out that last week when the north of England and Scotland was significantly cooler than the south, the trading performance of the two regions diverged by 10%.

“It’s a continuation of the trend that we’ve seen for some time now - people won’t buy clothing unless they actually need it. They’re not going to go out and buy their winter knitwear until it gets cold,” he said.

Wolfson said Next had seen no evidence that Brexit uncertainty was impacting sales of small ticket items, adding that Brexit has become: “The reach-to explanation for everything in the economy.”

Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle

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