Next warned yesterday the government’s so-called national living wage – a pay rise for over-25’s currently on the minimum wage – will cost the firm £27m each year as it revealed its half-year results.
The clothing chain said next year’s hike will cost the business just £2m but thereafter the increases will be much higher, taking the total wage bill to £147m by 2020.
It said it will be forced to hike prices across the board by one per cent.
Its outcry over the new £7.20 an hour wage follow Whitbread on Monday saying it may have to raise prices to offset higher wage costs.
Shares nevertheless headed upwards yesterday as Next said total sales rose 2.7 per cent in the first half to the end of July with pre-tax profits up 7.1 per cent.