Next first quarter sales jump as it maintains profit guidance

Next first quarter sales up as it remains on track to deliver profits rise
// Next sales jumped 21.3% in its first quarter
// The retailer has maintained its profit guidance for the year of 3.3% growth to £850 million

Next has maintained its profit guidance for the year after its sales jumped 21.3% in its first quarter.

The retailer said this was in line with expectations and is still on track for pre-tax profit to hit £850 million for the year, which is up 3.3% on last year.

Next had edged down its profit forecasts by £10 million for the year at the time of its full-year results in March due to the “unusually high level of geopolitical and economic uncertainty”.

The retailer’s impressive sales jump comes against a period when its shops were closed during lockdown for much of the first quarter.

Sales from Next’s retail stores were up 285% on last year but against it’s 2019/20 year – the most recent year not impacted by Covid – retail sales were down 8%.

Ecommerce sales were down 11% year on year, as store closures drove people online last year. Against three years ago, online was up 47%.

READ MORE: In pictures: Next opens first department store

Label, Next’s third-party branded online business, was the star performer online, up 20% year-on-year, or 106% against pre-Covid levels.

By comparison, Next’s own brand online business was down 24% year on year in the UK, but up 23% on pre-Covid levels. 

Over the period, Next bought a minority stake in baby products retailer JoJo Maman BéBé. 

Next expects total full-price sales to be up between 2% and 8% in its current year, and profits to fall between £795 million and £895 million.

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  1. Don’t get carried away with this trade update very much smoke & mirrors as it’s up against covid lockdown.

  2. An 8 per cent fall for High Street stores against pre pandemic shows there is still a place for physical retail on the high street though Next are gradually reducing their store portfolio leaving some places like Ashford Kent with a population of 100k plus with no physical Next branch at all after like 35 years.

  3. Next could do even better with there physical retail but there online operations is to strong taking sales away from there stores. People have previously commented about next closing stores on the quiet which next have kept quiet about and the media hasn’t picked up on (yet). What also helps next out a lot is majority of there stores are on retail parks which saves their store sales as retail parks are the place to be due to covid. There’s still a market for next retail stores they just need to do more to get people in them. It proves there stores have lost there appeal as there putting 3rd party brands into stores to balance the books. The only real pull I see is when next have their sale events on.


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