Next has become the latest retail outlet to record a negative performance admitting that “2017 was the most challenging year we have faced for 25 years.”

The company reported an 8.1% fall in annual pre-tax profits to £726.1 million, while total sales dropped 0.5% to £4.1 billion.

Revenue at its shops slumped while online revenues grew by nearly 10% which helped soften the blow.

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Chief executive Lord Simon Wolfson said its poor performance was due to “a difficult clothing market coincided with self-inflicted product ranging errors and omissions.