High street retailer Next is extending the deadline for ordering online for next day delivery to 9pm from the current limit of 7pm.
Releasing its half year results, the company said it aimed to continue to improve the web site and the service offered as the year progresses.
Chief executive Lord Wolfson said: “For example, we have made excellent progress in extending the latest time at which customers can order for next-day delivery. Two years ago it was 5pm, today it is 7pm and from October most customers will be able to order stock up to 9pm for delivery the following day.”
Directory sales were up 9.5 per cent, “a good performance albeit one that was flattered by around 1.7 per cent as a result of the one week later start to the year”.
Orders placed through the internet now account for over 70 per cent of Directory sales
In addition, warehouse and distribution costs reduced as a percentage of sales, improving margin by one per cent, it said. “This was driven by contribution to overheads from third party client business, lower costs per parcel and more customers collecting their parcels from our stores.”
In its high street store business, Next said store payroll, warehousing and distribution were all managed so that any inflationary cost rises were offset by efficiency gains, and were broadly margin neutral. Central overheads reduced as a percentage of sales mainly as a result of last year’s costs being increased by unusually high performance based staff incentives.