Apr 29, 2020

Coronavirus; Next expects 40% sales drop amid crisis

Next has warned that sales will suffer this year with shoppers kept away amid coronavirus. The fashion retailer said on Wednesday that full-price sales in-store and online could drop by up to 40%. The company said that it was hard to think of a time when sales and profit had "Been more difficult to predict". In the three days before non-essential shops closed under government instruction on 23 March, in-store sales plummeted by 86%. The Leicestershire-based firm said: "In reality, the majority of our customers had decided to stop shopping in retail stores before the order came to close them." Next said store sales plunged 52% in the 13 weeks to April 25, its first quarter, while online sales were down 32%. The retailer, which typically makes more than half of its sales online, was forced to temporarily shut its online operations on 26 March. In April, the British retailer also put its headquarters and warehouses up for sale in a bid to secure its future during the coronavirus pandemic.

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