Next has reported an improved performance, although like-for-like sales for the second quarter are still down 2.4 per cent from last year.
As expected, second quarter sales were up from the first quarter, the retailer said in a trading update.
Directory sales were particularly encouraging, up 5.6 per cent compared to last year, while first quarter figures showed a one per cent fall.
The significant difference between the quarters is down to the unusual weather patterns of last year, Next said - a year ago, the UK was flooded and torrential rain put shoppers off.
Next said sales for the first half better represent underlying trends, with like-for-likes down six per cent for the first six months.
For the rest of the year, Next said: "We remain very cautious about the outlook for the second half and can see no reason for any improvement in consumer spending, indeed, the economic risks appear to us to be on the downside.
"We believe that continued year on year increases in food, fuel and mortgage costs will weigh heavily on our customers. We are therefore currently planning for retail full price like-for-like sales in the second half to be down by a similar amount to that of the first half."
The retailer said it will announce half year results in September.