Next reports positive results

Simon%20Wolfson

Next, the high street retailer, has shown signs of recovery with positive results after a difficult start to th year. It has reported a 2.2% increase in combined sales from its retail and directory divisions for the 15 week ended May 12.

The chain’s retail sales were up by 1.2% over the period although like-for-like sales were down by 2.7%. The company expects that first half like-for-like sales will between down by between 1% and 4%.

Earlier this year, the struggling retailer reported like-for-like sales at its stores were down by 7.2% for the year to January 2007. In the face of fierce competition from a resurgent Marks and Spencer, the retailer has increased its above-the-line advertising spend to £10m, up from £1.5m the year before. The company is understood to preparing to run television ads for the first time.

Next has traditional shunned above-the-line advertising in favour of in-store marketing and promotions.

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