Categories: Economy

CITY WHISPERS: Next will survive storm on its way to shopping streets

CITY WHISPERS: Next Will Survive the Storm Heading to High Street, But Online Sales Drop More Dramatically Than Expected This Fall



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Demand in clothing stores has proved surprisingly resilient in recent weeks, retail sources tell Whispers. That is despite the chaos around.

But there are signs of pain. Chief executives have noted that online sales have fallen more than expected this fall.

Have gamblers finally rid themselves of their trigger-happy addiction to online shopping?

A good sign: Tony Shiret, an experienced retail analyst at stockbroker Panmure Gordon, has his eyes on Next and upgraded it from hold to buy last week

Undoubtedly, the impact of higher prices, utility bills and mortgages has not yet fully reached stores. That will probably change soon. But out of every downturn, winners emerge.

Tony Shiret, an experienced retail analyst at stockbroker Panmure Gordon, has his eyes on Next and upgraded from hold to buy last week as shares fell nearly a fifth in a month.

He said: “We expect Next to be able to work its way through the slump in demand that we are likely to experience soon. The medium-term outlook is not well understood in our view.’

Moonpig stocks under pressure

Moonpig’s shares were “quite anemic,” says stockbroker Davy.

They floated at £3.50 early last year and are now trading at £1.28, after falling 31 percent in the past month alone.

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They are weighed down by fears that the recent acquisition of Buyagift, which sells “experiences” such as spa days and chic afternoon tea, may not perform as well in a recession.

Despite this, Davy suggests it is the “highest quality business” in the 2021 IPO class.

And Moonpig has increased his guidance five times since floating.

One to keep an eye on.

Second largest shareholder backing UKCM

UK Commercial Property Reit (UKCM) can rest easy in the knowledge that its second largest shareholder will support this week’s resolution calling for the company’s operations to continue.

Investec Wealth & Investment owns 11 percent and believes its shares in the firm FTSE 250, which has a £1.7bn portfolio, are ‘oversold’.

That will give UKCM a boost after the group revealed earlier this month that the meeting would be held to decide the future.

Voting is triggered when the share price falls below its net asset value for at least 90 days.

UKCM shares are down about 21 percent this year.

The trust has “unanimously” called on its investors to support the resolution.

The largest investor, insurer Phoenix Group, has already pledged its support.

Could Vin Murria Knock Out At Saatchi?

M&C Saatchi appears to have fended off the advances of both Vin Murria and communications company Next Fifteen, as the latter pulled out this week.

Moray MacLennan of M&C is optimistic about the agency’s prospects as a standalone company.

But investors can brace themselves for Murria’s next move.

The tech supremo, which owns much of M&C, has made no secret of its opposition to the status quo.

The stock has fallen by more than a third since the start of the bidding saga.

Sources think M&C may not have heard of Murria’s latest. Perhaps MacLennan still regrets extorting Murria’s offer by using an image of a boxer with “Low Price” and “High Risk” on his oversized gloves.

Could she still get a knockout punch?


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