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Online sales grow at Next and Stanley Gibbons

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Next sales blossomed this spring, showing double digit growth and helping the fashion retailer’s total brand sales to stay ahead despite a fall in retail takings at its stores.

For while total Next Directory sales grew by 11.8% in the 13 weeks to April 28, according to today’s interim management statement, retail sales fell by 3.9%, giving an overall growth of 1.4% in Next brand sales.

The company said today it expected that Next Brand sales would grow by between 1% and 4% in the first half of the year and that first-half profit would be ahead of last year. “We believe that if sales were up between 1% and 4% for the full year, then profits would be between £560m and £610m,” said the company. “This is in line with market expectations.”

The company said it now planned to buy back £200m of shares.

Stamp retailer Stanley Gibbons also updated the markets today, ahead of its annual general meeting. It said that online sales had doubled in the first four months of its financial year.

“We undertook a substantial strategic review of our internet development plans in the first quarter,” it said. “We expect the results of that review and actions taken to further support and accelerate our online developments for the remainder of this year.”

Stanley Gibbons launched its first mobile app last month, making its Gibbons Stamp Monthly magazine available to download on iTunes. It plans to launch another, offering access to its catalogues, later this month.

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