Next saw stronger than expected sales in 2022, raising its outlook for the year to 860 million pounds, an increase of 4,5 percent over 2021 and 10 million pounds over previous forecasts.
Despite the stellar revenue, the company said it will also raise prices from Q3 by approximately 8 percent. Even as a shrinking high street gives Next a competitive edge, inflation from supply chains, an energy crisis and general rising costs will now be passed onto the consumer. Even as the absence of retailers such as Toshop and Debenhams make for less competitors, the actual number of shoppers on the high street is not increasing, Next said.
Debenhams said the unseasonably warm weather and investment into more expensive items such as suiting and occasionwear boosted its sales, however the heatwave impacted its discounting season.
Simon Wolfson, CEO at Next, told the Standard: “There is a trend towards longer lasting higher quality products and away from lots of things that you throw out of the wardrobe very quickly. People are buying fewer but more expensive items – they’re budgeting for an event or a holiday.”
Next is currently undergoing an investigation by the UK’s tax authority after thousands of employees received incorrect salaries after it implemented a new payroll system. The high street giant could be penalised if any of its employees were paid less than minimum wage.