Next increases profits thanks to online shopping offering
24 March 2014 - 14:10 by Sarah Collinson
High street clothing chain Next may have seen a slowdown in the sales it generates at its bricks and mortar stores, like many of its rivals, but its latest profits indicate that by giving customers the opportunity to shop online, it is still possible to find retail success.
The Guardian reports that profits at the firm were up by 12 per cent year on year, and interestingly, the firm is also in the process of redeveloping its e-commerce site, so that it can do an even better job of catering to the needs of consumers in the online space.
Another of Next's successful tactics has been to reduce the number of seasonal changes in the ranges that it carries to just two, because its customers tend to buy their winter or summer gear right on the cusp of the seasons at either end, rather than in a narrower window of opportunity.
Adding homeware to its clothing offerings has also been a good move for the company as it attempts to diversify the types of customers it is attracting, both in-store and online.
Next customers are keen to use its online service because they can arrange to collect items at their nearest bricks and mortar outlet, rather than having it delivered to their home.
This is good for the brand as well, because it means people are engaged online and with its high street presence in one fell swoop, ensuring that it still makes sense to operate real world outlets.
The profits at Next are being seen as signs that the economic recovery is starting to have an impact on consumer confidence, with people having more cash available to them for non-essential items, like fashion, footwear and accessories.