News & Insight

Next bucks high street trends over Christmas

Jack Stratten

Profit forecasts are up for the clothing retailer...

High street giant Next has seen profit forecasts rise recently after a strong christmas period.

Sales rose over the christmas period by more than 5%. The key driver behind this growth was a 15% increase in online sales - following huge digital investments over recent years.

Digital investments pay off

For all retailers, there is much to learn from this news.

Next's in-store sales actually decreased by 3.9% - a decline matched on high streets throughout the UK. But Next moves into 2020 with renewed confidence because of the excellent performance of its digital channels.

Over recent years it's made no secret of its huge online investment, and its ecommerce and mobile commerce is now widely regarded as outstanding. As digital sales grow for Next, this investment is really paying off.

After all, overall footfall in November 2019 was down by nearly 5%, which is part of a long-term trend of diminishing foot traffic. And the British Retail Consortium recently claimed that last year was the worst year for British retail in 25 years.

There's a great deal of uncertainty on UK high streets as we move into 2020, but there is opportunity too - especially for smaller retailers, and those savvy enough to tie together their physical and online offerings.