Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Wolfson vows to protect the Next brand

Next chief executive Simon Wolfson has vowed to protect the Next brand and avoid discounting despite worsening conditions on the high street.

Earlier today, Next reported like-for-like retail sales had fallen 3.2% in the year ended January and warned that like-for-like sales were likely to fall back further to between -4% and -7% in the first half of this year.

Wolfson predicted that sales in the first quarter of the year would be worse than in the second quarter. He added: "The year ahead will be difficult, but not dire. We won’t devalue the brand by increasing markdown activity...We don't want to see increased levels of discounting, like some competitors. Brand integrity will be the most important thing when we come to the end of the downturn."

Wolfson said the retailer would have 50% less stock in its UK retail business in the first half of 2008/09 compared to last year. He said he expected spending to slow overall but added that womenswear and menswear would be worst hit and that kidswear would be less prone to penny pinching.

Separately Wolfson said that almost 75% of Next's retail stores would be revamped with its new shop fit by the end of this year. The group expects to spend about £37m on refitting existing stores this year. Wolfson added that he planned to open 400,000 sq ft of new space in the UK this year, in locations where there was not already a Next store.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.