This is why high street fashion retailer Next has issued a profits upgrade

High street fashion retailer Next has issued a profit upgrade and has agreed to repay the money it saved from its business rates holiday for the period stores were open but the tax holiday remained in place.

Next said sales in physical stores remain down on two years ago but this was more than offset by online sales.

It means the company will hand the Government £29 million, as bosses revealed full price sales in the 11 weeks to July 17 were up 18.6% compared to the same period in 2019 before the pandemic.

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Next said sales in physical stores remain down on two years ago but this was more than offset by online sales.

Bosses said they believed the unexpectedly strong sales were due to pent-up demand for adult clothing, with customers having made few summer purchases during the past 18 months.

They added that the warm weather at the end of May and start of June helped, and fewer foreign holidays due to Covid-19 restrictions may have increased domestic spending in the UK.