Next marketing director Christine Gerrard has exited the retailer 30 years after joining as a buyer in 1987.

Gerrard’s three-decade-long stint at the retailer included 10 years as marketing director as well as time as its head of public relations.

Next is currently sourcing her replacement, Drapers reports.

The mid-market retailer is due to report its second-quarter results on Thursday, following a challenging 2016 during which sales and profits suffered.

Fast-fashion turbulence

Next, which had long been viewed as a market-beating wunderkind by the industry, is one of many mid-market fashion retailers suffering falling sales and profits.

This is due to a cocktail of factors including dented consumer confidence and spending, a shift to leisure and experiential spending, and a highly competitive fast-fashion market dominated by etailers and players such as Inditex.

Increases in the national living wage, business rates and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy have added further cost headwinds.

In May, Next chief executive Lord Wolfson reduced the upper end of Next’s profit guidance and disclosed that full-price sales were not expected to rise more than 0.5% over the coming year, following a slump in first-quarter sales.

The retailer is now taking various steps to fight back against the tough market, including a reintroduction of more core product, readying an own-label brand and launching the annual subscription delivery service Next Unlimited.