New Look joins the list of high street retailers to lament poor weather

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Fashion chain New Look became the latest clothing retailer to be hit by high street trading woes as it revealed slumping sales.

The group said UK like-for-like sales dropped 7 per cent in a “tough” first quarter to June 25.

It blamed “unfavourable market conditions” as it said shoppers stayed away from the high street in what was a difficult spring/summer season for clothes retailers amid uncertainty ahead of the EU referendum, wet weather in April and June and the timing of Easter.

Clothing giant Next recently repeated concerns over a slowdown in consumer spending on fashion as it said Britons were splashing out instead on eating out and experiences.

Next posted a 3.3 per cent fall in sales across its stores in its second quarter to the end of July, although it marked an improvement on the 4.7 per cent slide seen in the previous three months. Marks & Spencer has also been rocked by dismal trading, with the group’s clothing arm suffering its worst sales performance for more than a decade.

But the latest British Retail Consortium-KPMG survey suggested retailers enjoyed a better July thanks to warmer weather.

New Look chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: “We continued to manage the business for long-term growth in what was a tough quarter, with unfavourable market conditions impacting high street footfall.”

The retailer continued to focus on growing areas, such as its menswear offering and expansion in China, where it opened another nine stores, taking its total to 94.

Yorkshire-based retail veteran Paul Mason stood down as as non-executive chairman last year.