Next sales slide despite new marketing strategy

Sales have continued to fall at struggling clothes retailer Next despite the launch of a new brand marketing strategy that it hoped would have the “M&S effect”.

The high street retailer has not traditionally used high profile advertising campaigns but plans to spend £18m more on marketing this year.

Chief executive Simon Wolfson says the company aims to put “the magic back into the Next brand” and make its ranges more aspirational.

He says: “This is mainly about improving our product ranges, but we have also sought to enhance every customer facing aspect of the business: everything from our windows and bags through to our shop fit and website.”

In its half year results to the end of July, Next reported a 3.6% decrease in like-for-like sales compared to 7.2% for the same period last year. Operating profit across the company for the same period was up 11%, achieved by cost savings and strong performance by the Next Directory.

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