Next predicts no-deal Brexit tariff boost saving £15m


Retail giant Next has said if the UK leaves the EU with a no-deal, lower trade tariffs could save the retailer up to £15m enabling price cuts for customers.

The fashion retailer said, while “seemingly” unlikely, if the government’s planned tariffs were in place, they would slash costs by £12m to £15m, allowing “modest” savings passed to their customer base.

Next’s chief executive and prominent Brexiteer, Lord Simon Wolfson said the impact of the UK’s delay to leave the EU, consumers are “numb to the daily swings in the political debate.”

There is little evidence the Brexit saga is affecting consumer demand for clothing.

Lord Wolfson’s comments came as the retailer posted a 0.4% drop in pre-tax profits to £722.9m for the year to the end of January. The company predicts further decline in the year ahead amid “challenging” trade.

Highstreet sales tumbled by 7.9% however, total brand sales rose to 1.1% to £715m over the new financial year.

Lord Wolfson said, “We can see no evidence that this uncertainty is affecting consumer behaviour in our sector.

“Our feeling is that there is a level of fatigue around the subject.”