Next increases marketing budget

Next is ramping up its ad spend to 10m after reporting a 7.2% drop in sales for 2006. The retailer, which last year ran its first advertising campaign in nine years, is increasing its annual marketing budget from 1.5m to 10m and revamping its 470-strong store portfolio.

Next is ramping up its ad spend to £10m after reporting a 7.2% drop in sales for 2006.

The retailer, which last year ran its first advertising campaign in nine years, is increasing its annual marketing budget from £1.5m to £10m and revamping its 470-strong store portfolio.

Chief executive Simon Wolfson called the results “disappointing” and says the company needs to “recapture some of the magic and excitement” in its stores.

However, the group reported that profit before tax was up 6.5% to £478m. The Next Directory saw sales increase by 13.1% on last year.

Wolfson says the company has taken steps to revitalise the brand by improving its product offering, marketing and store environment.

Next recently promoted Christine Gerrard, the company’s head of public relations, to the role of retail marketing director following the retirement of Sue Myatt after 25 years.

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