e-commerce lifts Next out of seasonal slump

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The coldest March for 50 years kept many shoppers at home, but strong online sales boosted Next’s sales by nearly 9%, leaving overall group sales up 2.2% despite poor performing shops. Shop sales slumped by 1.9% in the 14 weeks to 4 May.

The company said: “It is apparent that the poor March figures were down to an abnormally cold spring. Equally, the good weeks since mid-April have been boosted by pent-up demand from the previous month. We believe that neither period is indicative of any significant change in the underlying economy.”next-website

Next’s online business is going from strength to strength. At the full year results in January, the company revealed online sales jumped 9.5% to £1.19bn, compared with in-store sales of £2.19bn. In a sign of how profitable the online business is for Next, pretax profits for online were £302.1m, compared with £331m in stores.

Despite the increase in online sales, the company, which has more than 500 stores, remains cautious about the fragile UK economy. It said: “We anticipate that the continuing decline in real earnings will depress discretionary spending for at least the next 18 months, if not longer.”

This case illustrates the value of a having a strong e-commerce element to businesses of all sizes. Adding e-commerce to sell your products online needn’t be an expensive option and could boost your business long term.

See the original article here: Next saved from seasonal slump by online sales

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