Next continues to demonstrate its agility

Following today’s release of Next figures for the nine weeks to 26 December 2020;

Amy Higginbotham, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments:

Next performed better than expected during the golden quarter despite the temporary closure of stores during November. The marginal decline in full-price sales was much better than the downside forecast (which assumed two weeks of store closures) of -20% given in October. Next rightly remains cautiously optimistic, once again raising its profit guidance for the year, now at £370m (on a 52-week basis). Its share price rose just over 8% as a result.

“Growth in online sales offset almost all the losses from physical stores, with product full-price sales declining just 0.5% during the quarter. Next’s international online customer base has grown 24% year-on-year as it continues to expand its reach by adding new brands and collaborating with celebrities. Its broad product range has also served it well; childrenswear, home and loungewear categories continue to outperform, protecting total sales from a more severe decline amid falling demand for work and party attire.

Next will continue to rely on its online platform in its next financial year, with the new lockdown forcing stores to close once again for several weeks. The retailer’s new central scenario for FY2021/22 assumes that stores will remain closed throughout February and March. But, despite ongoing disruption from COVID-19, the outlook for Next is positive. It is well placed to capitalise on the collapse of Debenhams – according to GlobalData’s How Britain Shops 2020 survey, 31.3% and 16.1% of Debenhams’ clothing and homewares shoppers respectively also purchase from Next.”

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