British fashion and home products retailer Next has reported a 4.5% increase in the brand’s full price sales during the first half (H1) ending 28 July.
The retailer also reported a 15.5% increase in the sales of its online business, which was driven by the growth in overseas and third-party brands business, as well as modest growth in sales of its branded stock in the UK.
However, the company reported a 5.3% decline in the sales of its retail stores during H1 of this year.
The retail also noted that its prices for clearance stock have added approximately £4m to profit, but this has been offset by higher warehouse and distribution costs.
Commenting on Next H1 figures, GlobalData senior retail analyst Sofie Willmott said: “Next’s results continue to demonstrate the polarisation of shopping channels as consumer spend transitions online.
“The retailer has capitalised on the shift by enhancing its branded product offer, helping Next to achieve impressive growth despite being a mature player in the online market.
“While the online channel is thriving, store sales continue to tumble. However, Next is managing the decline carefully, working with landlords to negotiate rents and adding service and leisure elements to stores to create interest and increase profitability.
“Given that online is trading well and accounts for almost half of sales, Next is in a much better position to weather the tough retail environment in comparison to its struggling midmarket competitors, including M&S, Debenhams, and House of Fraser.”