Shares in retailer Next are crashing on Wednesday morning after the company announced falling pre-Christmas sales, and warned that profits could be as much as 14% lower next financial year, two major signals of trouble ahead for the British high street.
“NEXT Brand full price sales in the 54 days from Tuesday 1 November to Saturday 24 December were down -0.4%,” the company said in a statement released to the markets on Wednesday.
As a result of the announcement, shares in Next fell off a cliff as markets open at 8.00 a.m. GMT (3.00 a.m. ET) falling almost 14% instantly. Here’s the chart:
The fall is one of the single biggest downward moves in Next’s share price in recent years. In March 2016, the company’s stock had one of its worst days in 18 years on Thursday after the company cut forecasts for 2016, and the CEO warned that 2016 would be its toughest year of trading since the financial crisis.
Wednesday also marks a second consecutive day of bad news for Next after Deutsche Bank cut its recommendation from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’ for the company, sending shares around 4.3% lower on the day.