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Exclusive: Next womenswear buying manager to depart

Next’s womenswear buying manager Alicia Lee is leaving the business after 20 years, Drapers understands.

Lee joined Next in 1996. Her last day will be on July 1, according to sources. It is thought she is leaving to spend more time with her two young children.

It is not known if a replacement has been appointed. Next declined to comment.

Last month, Next blamed warm weather, poor stock availability and tough online competition for a “disappointing” 0.4% increase in sales over Christmas.

However, the business, which has more than 500 stores in Britain and Ireland, said good control of margins, costs and stock, along with healthy clearance rates means it still expects full-year profits of £817m, towards the lower end of the £810m-£845m forecast issued in October.

It is due to report its preliminary full-year results on March 24.


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