Next’s latest figures have placed them even further ahead of traditional rival Marks and Spencer’s. Their sales for the quarter just gone have exceeded the 5.5 per cent – 9.5 per cent increase forecast in April, leading them to raise their full year profit forecast from £775m to £815m.
This is the third time this year that rapidly rising sales have cause the store to increase their target. Previously the final year prediction were raised from £750m to £780m. Perhaps even more encouraging is the fact that Next are seeing growth across a number of channels. High street sales rose by 6.4 per cent and online sales surged by 18.8 per cent over the three month period.
However, CEO Lord Wolfson was not too quick to celebrate. “There’s no doubt that if the economy continues to perform well at some point interest rates will go up and at that point we will need to be cautious about our budgeting,” he said.
Despite interest rate concerns there is no denying that things are looking very good for the retailer who won headlines when they overtook British staple Marks and Spencer’s two years ago. With a market value of £10bn against their competitors £7.1bn it would appear that Next are now very firmly in the driving seat.