What the papers say: Rivals put Next in shade over Xmas

Next, the first major clothes retailer to present a post- Christmas trading statement, attracted mixed rev­iews from City analysts.  While some were ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the company’s results (Richard Hunter of Hargreaves Lansdown, Birmingham Post, 5 January), others were less impressed. 

Steve Davies of Numis referred to Next’s trading performance as ‘dismal’ (Even­ing Standard, 4 January) and highlighted the company’s two-year ‘underperformance’ and loss of ‘market share to the likes of Marks & Spencer and Primark’ (Scots­man, 5 January). A sim­ilar view came from Philip Dorgan of Panmure Gordon, who said:  ‘The format is not appealing to new customers and is growing old with its customers’ (Liverpool Daily Post, 5 Jan).

With consumers facing a drain on their disposable income from interest rate hikes and spiralling energy costs, CEO Simon Wolfson defended Next: ‘We’ve delivered a good performance in a bad year’ (Hemscott.com , 4 January).

But Next faces pressure to revitalise its stores, fashion lines and prices. ‘It is not enough to smooth over cracks via impressive web and catalogue numbers,’ said Lucy Farndon, Daily Mail deputy City editor (5 Jan).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow .

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