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Next benefits from e-commerce sales increase

01 August 2013 - 13:13 by Sarah Collinson

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High street chain, Next, went through a bit of a slow period recently, but has been able to claw its way back to growth, thanks to shopping online, according to Metro.

In the first half of the year it still suffered a slight 0.9 per cent drop in the number of purchases being made at its bricks and mortar outlets, but managed to attain overall growth of 2.3 per cent, thanks to the 8.3 per cent rise in online sales.

A number of factors influenced the performance of Next this year, including the cold weather snap in April, which resulted in significant weekly reductions in sales compared with the anticipated levels. This cost the retailer around  12 million a week, indicating that the high street market is still fragile.

The impressive sales figures achieved via safe shopping online in 2013 have caused it to revise its projected annual earnings upwards, with the upper end of the estimation topping out at  675 million.

Industry analyst, Kate Calvert, said that the uptick in sales was a positive sign, although one which some had predicted. What was less expected, in her opinion, was the growing profitability of Next.

Of course, as high street retailers place a bigger emphasis on selling products to people via the web, there is the potential for significant savings to be made, both on the site of the outlet and the consumer.

It is also interesting to see just how much of an impact seasonal elements have on the shopping habits of British buyers.

When the weather takes a turn for the worst, we are keen to stay indoors and indulge in e-commerce rather than braving the high street. Then when the sun returns or a major event is on its way, we spend much more than usual.