- Hot weather and the easing of Covid restrictions lifted Next’s sales well beyond expectations
- The retailer’s older customer base and ecommerce push now leave it well-placed for the future
Brits have shopping fever, and Next (NXT) is reaping the rewards. Sales have far exceeded expectations during the summer heatwave, the retailer reported on Wednesday, as the easing of lockdown restrictions prompted consumers to splurge on new outfits.
In the 11 weeks to July, Next said full price sales rose 19 per cent compared to the same period in 2019, well above its central forecast of just 3 per cent. The company is now lifting its full-year profit guidance, repaying £29m of Covid business rates relief and planning to distribute £240m in surplus cash to shareholders through special dividends.