As England and Scotland face tough restrictions on Covid, continuing coverage of the latest economic and financial news
Back to Next: Chief Executive Officer Simon Wolfson has reported that several Arcadia brands are part of a consortium bidding for the retailer.
He stressed, however, that Next is not looking for a majority stake in any Arcadia transaction, reports Reuters.
In December, our retail correspondent Sarah Butler announced that Next was considering teaming with Oak Furnitureland’s U.S. owner to acquire the Arcadia Company of Sir Philip Green, which went bankrupt in November, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.
Meanwhile, according to PA Media’s business editor, Morrisons wants to abandon parking spaces for the British Vaccination Program:
About Simon Neville
In a phone call with reporters, Morrisons chief executive David Potts said that three store parking lots would host 19 Covid vaccination centers starting Monday, with another 47 provided to the government.
5th Jan., 2021
Joel Hills, ITV economics and market editor, describes why, considering his High Street presence, the results and predictions of Next are so surprising:
From Joel Hills
The performance of Next during the worst recession in 300 years is outstanding. Profit is forecast to be £ 342 million this year and £ 600 million – £ 735 million in 2021/22.
Over the next eight weeks, the company plans to close its 500 UK outlets. It is likely that up to 30,000 jobs will be made redundant by pic.twitter.com/esgaM3fS1HH
5th Jan., 2021
From Joel Hills
Next has 500 stores in the UK and no plans to reduce that number, perhaps unexpectedly. Well over 50 percent of online purchases are now made, but you can see below how important Next stores were in the run up to Christmas and last year from March to June (when they were forced to close in the 1st). Image.twitter.com/e4kWf6Qisn
5th January, 2021
Clothing retailer Next is helping to raise the FTSE 100 as shares are rising 8 percent amid new closure measures.
That’s because investors are focused on good trading figures for Christmas.
Zoe Wood, my colleague, explains:
As sales moved from closed stores to the website, Next has emerged as a winner from a difficult Christmas season, but the fashion chain cautioned that new closure measures would wipe out the extra profit.
Simon Wolfson, the retailer’s chief executive, said profits from better-than-expected revenues in November and December would be almost completely undermined this month by new lockdown steps that would cause shops to shut down, as well as costs resulting from the interruption of the biggest conventional Boxing Day sales.
The pandemic even postponed the arrival of container traffic from the Far East, the retailer said. Many of its shipments arrived two to three weeks late, Wolfson said, and inventory levels were 10 percent lower than two years earlier. Wolfson hopes that by the end of March, inventories will “return to normal levels”
Sales were just 1.1 percent lower than 2019 in the nine weeks to Dec. 26 – a much better outcome than the 8 percent fall the company had predicted. U.K. Though Store sales fell by 43% and online sales rose by 36%.
UK stocks have been successful in returning to positive territory.
The gains of yesterday have yet to be recovered, but the FTSE 100 remains comfortably above the mark of 6,500, up 0.5 percent this morning.
Even the domestically-oriented FTSE 250 has increased by 0.25% . Elsewhere, the German DAX is down 0.2% and the CAC 40 is down 0.1%.
Correction: The FTSE 250 is up 0.25%, not 0.5%.
However, supermarkets are optimistic after reporting their Christmas sales figures.
Strong demand for luxury Christmas items helped push Morrisons’ sales up 8.5% over the holidays as the chain began reporting expected record results for supermarkets, reports Sarah Butler.
Morrisons said online sales tripled and growth was driven by strong demand for festive favorites such as champagne and salmon, as families made the most of the quieter festive period.
Sales in established Morrisons stores were up 7.3% in the nine weeks to January 3, but this was offset by a 1.2% increase in wholesale sales as a result of the retailer’s agreement to