Next sales rise as shoppers return but online sales take a hit

Store sales in the past three months jumped 21.3% compared with a year ago when shops were shut during Covid lockdowns.

05 May 2022

High street fashion chain Next said sales continue to grow although there has been a dip in online shopping as customers returned to stores.

Total full price sales in the 13 weeks to the end of April were up 21.3% on the same period a year ago, although online sales fell by 11%.

The reason for the fall in online sales was that last year, due to lockdown measures in place, physical stores were shut.

Conversely, store sales jumped 285% on the same period a year ago as a result, Next said.

However, when compared on a three-year basis – the last period before Covid hit – sales in stores remain down by 8%.

Bosses said the high street bellwether remains in good shape for the rest of the year and did not downgrade forecasts as a result of further inflationary pressures.

Chief executive Lord Simon Wolfson said in March that the company is expecting to increase prices by an average of 3.7% over the half-year to July.

He said pricing is expected to rise by an average of 8% in the following six-month period, with fashion set for a 6.5% increase.

But on Thursday there were no further suggestions that prices would rise any higher.

The company previously said it would take an £85 million hit in sales by shutting its operations in Russia and Ukraine, knocking profits by £18 million for the year.

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