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Retail Therapy

Blog

ICO revises guidance on timescales for responding to a data subject access request

Published on 19 February 2020. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Joseph Akwaboa, Trainee Solicitor

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The ICO’s guidance has been amended to state that the time limit for a response to a DSAR starts from the day the request is received (even if it is not a working day) until the corresponding calendar date in the next month, instead of the day after the request.

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Blog

Online resale price maintenance practices attract highest fines yet from the CMA

Published on 05 February 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The CMA announced on 22 January 2020 that it has fined Fender, the guitar manufacturer, £4.5 million for illegal resale price maintenance practices ("RPM").

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Blog

Another successful round for the CMA

Published on 05 February 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The Court of Appeal confirms that an absolute online sales ban imposed by a supplier on its authorised retailers is illegal.

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Video

Can a super regulator save the High Street?

04 February 2020

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Henry Priestley introduces 'The Future of Retail' - a joint publication with Raconteur and The Times, published on 17 December 2019, where Partner Jeremy Drew discusses the need for a super regulator to help rescue the High Street.

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Blog

Vegans: a new protected group?

Published on 31 January 2020. By Joanna Holford, Senior Associate and Kelly Thomson, Legal Director

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Retailers would be forgiven for thinking that 2020's Veganuary coincided with a new law protecting all those who participate. Much of the press coverage of a recent employment tribunal case appeared to suggest just that. The true picture is a little more nuanced. Munch on that kale while we fill you in...

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Publication

Retail Compass Winter edition 2020

20 January 2020

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Welcome to the Winter 2020 edition of Retail Compass – our guide to key upcoming legal and policy changes affecting Retail and our thoughts on the need-to-know issues.

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Blog

BrewBlog: Sober ad campaign leaves brewery with an unwanted hangover.

Published on 14 January 2020. By Stuart Harris, Associate and Josh Tonks, Paralegal

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In response to complaints about an advertisement published by BrewDog Plc the ASA found that the advertisement had breached CAP code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) and 4.1 (Harm and offence) and ordered BrewDog not to run the ad again.

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Blog

The Future of Retail is Green

Published on 12 December 2019. By Henry Priestley, Senior Associate and Harpreet Kaur, Trainee Solicitor

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2019 has been a year of environmental awareness, aptly demonstrated by David Attenborough's Glastonbury appearance and Greta Thunberg's speech to world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit.

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Blog

Can retail drones deliver the goods?

Published on 03 December 2019. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Hannah Ridzuan-Allen, Trainee Solicitor

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A recent flurry of patent registrations provides an insight into how this futuristic technology could soon become a reality for consumers.

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Blog

Dear Legal, can we put a laundrette in store?

Published on 28 November 2019. By Simon Edwards, Partner and Rachael Ellis, Associate

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How should brands navigate a change to their high street store space?

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Blog

Changing retail landscape leads to decline in employee numbers

Published on 21 November 2019. By Kelly Thomson, Legal Director and Josh Tonks, Paralegal

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The retail sector continues to face change and challenge from every conceivable angle and employment within the sector is following this trend.

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Blog

Queen's speech spells out major environmental changes for retailers

Published on 05 November 2019. By Steven Aitken, Senior Associate

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The recent Queen’s speech laid out major environmental regulatory changes including plans, for the first time, to enshrine environmental policies in law. A new regulator will also be set up to police environmental standards. At a more granular level, retailers will be impacted by the government's plans for a major extension of the carrier bag charge, among other proposed changes.

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Blog

Taking it personally – retailers using hyper-personalisation to target consumers in the digital age

Published on 22 October 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Amber Oldershaw, Trainee Solicitor

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In a modern day society widely dubbed as 'The Digital Age', corporations must compete like never before to capture a fluid market seeking instant gratification.

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Blog

Avatar Alert! ASA uses child avatars to tackle irresponsible ads targeted at children

Published on 15 October 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Victoria Noto, Associate

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The ASA is proactively using avatars (which mimic child-like behaviour) to identify when age-restricted ads (gambling, alcohol, HFSS etc) are being irresponsibly targeted at children. The introduction of this new technology has already had an impact on ad monitoring and enforcement.

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Blog

Visa? Credit card? No - buy now pay later please!

Published on 20 September 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Joseph Akwaboa, Trainee Solicitor

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As online customers make their way to checkout, a growing number of retail brands are offering them the "Buy Now and Pay Later (BNPL)" option along with the classic, Visa and Credit Card and PayPal payment options.

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Blog

Natasha's law - legislation requiring ingredients labelling on all pre-packaged foods presented in Parliament

Published on 06 September 2019. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate and Ciara Cullen, Partner

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On Thursday 5th September, 'Natasha's Law' was presented in Parliament. This is new legislation which mandates full ingredients labelling on all pre-packaged food.

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Blog

Using was/now price reductions

Published on 03 September 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Nandeep Judge, Paralegal

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A recent ASA decision against Zestify Media has confirmed that a “WAS” price must represent a genuine saving when compared with a “NOW” price. This means checking that sales were actually made at the higher price during the relevant period and ensuring you don't advertise the lower price for materially longer than the higher price.

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Blog

Auto-renewals and other consumer terms under the spotlight

Published on 28 August 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate

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The CMA has launched an investigation into potentially unfair terms in online gaming customer terms and conditions, such as auto-renewals, cancellation processes and discretion to alter clauses.

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Blog

FCA introduces 18-month grace period for two-factor authentication for online transactions

Published on 16 August 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Partner

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The Financial Conduct Authority this week agreed an 18-month "implementation plan" for Strong Customer Authentication (also known as "two-factor authentication").

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Blog

Lidl held to mislead consumers with cheesy price comparison

Published on 08 August 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

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When looking at Lidl's price comparison ad, which compared a number of prices of products with Morrisons, the Advertising Standards Authority found that if a retailer knows their competitor is offering a price promotion on a product, it can’t use the competitor’s normal higher price to make the comparison. This applies even if the backdrop to a savings claim is a year-long price comparison.

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Blog

What next for the Energy Performance of Retail Buildings?

29 July 2019

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After the initial success of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the widespread introduction of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) into property transactions, what can we expect from the proposed revisions of the EPBD?

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Blog

Carlsberg in the clear on the inappropriate targeting of under-18s

Published on 22 July 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate

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What steps do you need to take to ensure that age restricted products do not target the wrong audience?

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Blog

Guidance on misleading "faux fur" claims in clothes and accessories

Published on 09 July 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Stuart Harris, Associate

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The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has issued an Enforcement Notice advising that retailers should be careful as to how they may unwittingly advertise products as "faux fur" when they may actually contain real animal fur.

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Publication

Retail Compass Summer edition 2019

09 July 2019

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Welcome to the Summer 2019 edition of Retail Compass – our guide to key upcoming legal and policy changes affecting Retail and our thoughts on the need-to-know issues.

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Blog

Shop til' you Pop: Amazon's Electric Avenue

Published on 27 June 2019. By Simon Edwards, Partner and Rachael Ellis, Associate and Lucy Baughan, Trainee Solicitor

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Amazon is opening 10 pop-up shops in the UK, as a platform for over 100 small online brands to start selling via bricks and mortar. The pilot will run throughout the UK for around a year, with each pop-up opening for between six to eight weeks.

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Blog

Retailers: beware the ban on gender stereotyping

Published on 19 June 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Victoria Noto, Associate

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The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has introduced a new rule, accompanied by Guidance, to combat negative gender stereotyping in ads. The test now (or rather from 14 June 2019 when the new rule comes into force) is whether the ad is "likely to cause harm" – a far lower threshold than the previous test of "widespread or serious offence".

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Blog

Looking at the success of the UK's war on plastic

Published on 29 May 2019. By Simon Edwards, Partner

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Savvy brands will be working to realise the potential of reducing plastic consumption; not just from a sustainability perspective but also from a sales and branding perspective. Not only could it help to save the penguins, but also to boost sales.

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Blog

Government assessing business rates for warehouses

Published on 29 April 2019. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate

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The Financial Times recently reported that the Government has been assessing warehouse rents, in advance of the next revaluation for business rates.

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Blog

Fixing Fast Fashion: Parliament aims to put the brakes on retailers

Published on 10 April 2019. By Lucy Houghton, Associate and Jeremy Drew, Partner

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'Fast fashion' has been providing inexpensive, up to date styles to the mass market for decades, keeping the consumer both on trend, and in the black. However, as society becomes increasingly aware of the environmental and social impact of the retail sector, Parliament has thrown a spotlight upon the sustainability of 'fast fashion' and the modern retailing practices which underpin it.

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Blog

Worried you'll run out of milk: what does your contract say?

Published on 09 April 2019. By Rachael Ellis, Associate and Ciara Cullen, Partner

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This isn't a 'B'-word blog, don't worry. But with 'B' looming (in whatever form it may take) UK businesses are facing unprecedented uncertainty when it comes to their supply chain – talk continues of border delays, stock piling and shortages.

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Artificial Intelligence, collaboration with online platforms and tackling the 'Wild West': How the ASA plans to make its impact online over the next 5 years

Published on 11 January 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Victoria Noto, Associate

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Given that online adverts made up 88% of all adverts where action was taken by the ASA in 2017, it is unsurprising that the regulation of online advertising is central to the ASA's strategy for the next 5 years.

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Publication

Retail Compass: Navigating future change

Published on 10 January 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate

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We are pleased to present our Retail Compass New Year edition 2019.

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Blog

#Ad-vice for Influencers and Brands: how to comply with CAP's new Influencer's Guide

Published on 26 October 2018. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Victoria Noto, Associate

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To help influencers and brands comply with the legal requirements around influencer marketing the CAP issued An Influencer's Guide to making clear that ads are ads, developed in conjunction with the CMA.

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Blog

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 – Under Review

Published on 13 September 2018. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Amelia Cave, Associate

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Earlier this summer the Home Office announced plans to launch an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The Act came into force in October 2015 and established the UK as a world leader in the fight against the crime of modern slavery.

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Video

Implications of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 on UK and overseas businesses

06 September 2018

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Partner Jeremy Drew and Amelia Cave discuss the current Modern Slavery Act 2015 and why businesses in the UK and overseas should be mindful of its provisions.

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Blog

Our latest legal 'Snapshot' updates are now available

Published on 06 September 2018. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate and Jonathan Greenway, Associate

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Each Snapshot focuses on the key questions: What's the development? Why does it matter? And what should you be doing about it? In this blog post we have handpicked the ones which matter most to you as retailers.

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Update: Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018

Published on 10 August 2018. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Sarah Hill, Legal Director

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New legislation relating to automated vehicles clarifies liability issues and insurance coverage, and adds provisions relating to electric vehicles.

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Blog

Online resale price maintenance and pricing software under scrutiny

Published on 30 July 2018. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The imposition of fixed or minimum prices on their online retailers, in breach of EU competition law, has resulted in four consumer electronics manufacturers being fined over €111 million in total by the European Commission.

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Blog

Investing to Innovate

Published on 26 July 2018. By Mark Crichard, Partner and Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate

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Ocado aims to "change the way the world shops" with B2B technology offerings for retailers

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Publication

RPC Retail Compass: Navigating future change

Published on 04 July 2018. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate

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We are delighted to present the 2018 Summer edition of RPC Retail Compass.

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Blog

Value Added – New VAT "joint liability" risk for online marketplaces

Published on 30 April 2018. By Robert Waterson, Partner

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The flow of goods cross-border has increased significantly as a result of the inexorable rise of the online marketplace. Policing the tax aspect of online businesses has created numerous difficulties for national authorities. In no area is this felt more than VAT, where many online traders (both inside and outside the EU) have opted wittingly or otherwise to evade tax by simply not registering or accounting for VAT in any jurisdiction.

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Blog

Properties are Heating Up – New Minimum Energy Efficiency standard to come into force

29 March 2018

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On 1 April 2018 the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2018 ("the Regulations") will come into force, introducing Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards ("MEES") for privately rented properties, including retail properties.

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Video

Takeaways from Retail Week Summit 2018

26 March 2018

Find out some of our key takeaways from the Retail Week Summit 2018

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Video

How to demonstrate your value during a crisis

Published on 21 March 2018. By Jeremy Drew, Partner

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Jeremy Drew recaps his session from the Enterprise GC Conference - How to demonstrate your value when the media lens is on your business.

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Video

Considerations for future GCs

Published on 21 March 2018. By Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate and Jon Bartley, Partner

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Partner Jon Bartley and Head of Corporate Karen Hendy recap key points from the Enterprise GC conference including key considerations for the future.

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Video

Main themes from the Enterprise GC Conference

Published on 21 March 2018. By Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate and Jon Bartley, Partner and Jeremy Drew, Partner

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Jon Bartley, Karen Hendy and Jeremy Drew discuss the main themes from the Enterprise GC Conference.

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Blog

Reality Retail

Published on 16 February 2018. By Amelia Cave, Associate and Ben Harris, Associate

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Continuing its trend of introducing disruptive innovations to the retail market, Amazon recently opened its first checkout-free supermarket, 'Amazon Go', to the public. In light of this, we thought we would take a look at some of the other retailers using innovative technology to revitalise their bricks and mortar offering.

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Blog

And the (Christmas) results are in: Part II

Published on 17 January 2018. By Henry Priestley, Senior Associate

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Since our previous update many retail companies across the UK have posted their festive financials with several big retailers posting disappointing Christmas results.

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Blog

Our latest set of retail law 'Snapshots' are now available

Published on 15 January 2018. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate and Jonathan Greenway, Associate

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Each Snapshot focuses on the key questions: What's the development? Why does it matter? And what should you be doing about it.

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Blog

And the (Christmas) results are in…

Published on 09 January 2018. By Henry Priestley, Senior Associate

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The focus of last year's post-Christmas update was Next's post-Christmas profit warning. This year however it was largely good news for the retailer as they reported that sales in the 54 days to 24 December 2017 were up by 1.5% compared to the same period in 2016. This is against Next's expectation in November 2017 that sales would fall by 0.3% for the period.

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