Next hikes prices by 6% as it blames rising wages and operating costs

NEXT is planning to hike prices by 6%, blaming the decision on rising wages and operating costs.

Shoppers might notice Next's clothes are more expensive this year as the retailer confirmed the increase today.

It comes as the cost of living in the UK has soared in recent months, with energy bills and shop prices rising.

Next said prices will be up 3.7% in the spring and summer, before rising by another 6% in autumn and winter.

The high street retailer said higher freight and manufacturing costs were partly to blame for the increase.

It also pointed to higher UK wages as a reason for raising prices for consumers.

Wage increases are down to a national living wage raise, and inflation in areas where there are labour shortages such as warehousing and technology.

Next said consumers are buying less but choosing more expensive items when they do make a purchase.

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"This change is, we believe, the result of consumers choosing to buy slightly fewer items, but at moderately higher price points – perhaps exchanging volume for quality," the company said in a trading update this morning.

Prices are also increasing faster than Next previously predicted.

In July, Next said average selling price inflation was running at around 2% due to rising shipping costs.

At the time the rise was mainly focused on its home products.

It predicted that cost price inflation in the first half of 2022 would average at 2.5%, with fashion prices rising by 1% and homeware by 6%.

Next added that surplus stock in its latest sale had been "much lower than expected".

"Stock for the end-of-season sale was down 18% on two years ago," it said.

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