Retail’s new normal? What Next results say about stores, online and returns

Next Basildon

As Next upgrades its profit outlook for the year following a strong second quarter, Retail Week explores the retailer’s data, which may paint the fullest picture yet of what the post-pandemic ‘new normal’ actually looks like. 

In a trading update for the first half to July 30, Next boss Lord Wolfson said the fashion retailer was seeing a “sharp reversal” in customer behaviours built up over the pandemic, most notably pulling out the recovery of store sales and slowing of online growth.

Product trends, too, are beginning to revert to pre-pandemic norms, with the likes of homewares and sporting goods dropping in popularity, while formalwear makes a comeback as people socialise again over the summer.

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