Next is the UK’s largest clothing retailer and it blames its first profit drop in 8 years to a loss of focus.
Like many clothing retailers, Next faces strong competition from the likes of Zara and H&M particularly through their ability for incredibly fast design turnaround. Their time from original design to stock in stores is measured in weeks. Next made great efforts to bridge that gap but now realise it was at the expense of their core clothing products that had been the feature of many of their ranges.
Next said they were “extremely cautious” about the outlook for the year ahead, identifying three key threats: shoppers spending less on clothes and more on eating out and holidays; price rises as a result of the drop in sterling; and weaker growth in consumers’ incomes.