Clothes retailer Next thrived throughout the autumn and pre-Christmas sales even though its high street stores suffered. That’s because consumers appear to have turned to online shopping to grab the best deals – and there are more Next voucher codes and offers to capitalise on in the New Year.
Total sales for Next between August 1 and December 24 increased by 3.1 per cent compared to the previous year, if you ignore the rise in VAT – this despite the fact that its high street business recorded a 2.7 per cent fall leading to a drop in its share price. Overall sales were boosted by visitors to Next.ie and the group of Next Directory websites, which saw sales increase by 16.9 per cent.
The encouraging figures from its online business mean that Next has been able to reconfirm its full-year profit forecast of £565million – and believes its range is likely to be plus or minus £7million. Indeed its total sales figure of 3.1 per cent was right in the middle of its previous range of 2.5 per cent to four per cent.
In addition, Next expressed that it is cautiously optimistic about its end of year sales and predicted that they should be slightly ahead of budget. One reason why sales should be boosted is that there is likely to be a price freeze on many of its products. Indeed Next is now looking at a £200million surplus in the year ahead which is likely to be returned to shareholders in the form of buy-backs.
However, it did appear uncertain as to why its high street performance was disappointing, particularly on the back of a much colder year in 2010. One possibility is that the company does not usually reduce the price of its products in the run-up to Christmas. It suggests that higher sales do not always translate to higher profits so operating strong consumer margins may be beneficial long term.
With more consumers turning to the Next Directory in the build-up to Christmas, it’s well worth looking online for similar bargains at the start of the New Year. For while Next may be offering sales in store, it’s best offers are often found online – particularly if you take advantage of the Next voucher codes and offers available at Moneysaver.ie. Existing offers include: beautiful home accessories from €13; ladies scarves from €11; leather bags from €30; and back to school clothes for girls from €6.50. You can also get hundreds of items delivered to your door with a delivery charge of just €5. Check out the Next voucher codes section for more deals.