Strong Christmas lifts Next

Online sales soar as in-store sales decline

Next’s full price sales for the Christmas trading period between Sunday 28 October and Saturday 29 December were up +1.5% on last year. Strong sales in the three weeks prior to Christmas along with a good half-term holiday week at the end of October made up for disappointing sales in November.

This chimes with the latest sales figures from the John Lewis department store group, where sales were up 4.5% in the week to 29 December compared with the same period last year. Sales also rose 4.2% in the preceding week.

However Next’s performance has been driven by online sales. In the year to 29 December store sales were down -7.0% while online sales were up +14.9%. Like-for-like sales in existing stores were even worse because 0.5% of annual sales were delivered by new space.

Next year, Next is forecasting sales growth of +1.7%, in line with the second half performance of the current financial year. Within this, retail sales are expected to be down -8.5% and online sales to be up +11%.

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