Next online sales down 11% in first quarter

Next has reported an 11 per cent drop in total online sales for the first quarter, which the company attributed to the return to in store shopping.

In the thirteen weeks to 30 April, the Next recorded a 21.3 per cent increase in full price sales compared to the same period last year.

However, online sales of NEXT UK were down 24 per cent, and sales of labels on its website were down 20 per cent.

Next explained that the post-pandemic return to the High Street has resulted in a strong rebound in retail growth at +285 per cent compared to the same period last year, when stores were closed due to lockdown.

The trading statement said: “Last year online sales were boosted by retail closures, which is why we planned online sales to be down in the first quarter against last year.

“Online sales against three years ago remained strong and were up +47 per cent versus 2019/20,” it added.

The company also provided comparative figures for the first quarter of 2019/2020, the most recent year not disrupted by Covid.

These showed that growth overall was up 21 per cent this year, along with a 47 per cent overall rise in online sales.

Overall, the company said it was maintaining its guidance for full year profit before tax at £850m, which would be up 3.3 per cent on last year.

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