Next chief executive Simon Wolfson's pay fell by more than a third for 2017 – a year he described as the most difficult faced by the company for a quarter of a century.

Wolfson's total pay dropped 37% to £1.15m from £1.83m a year earlier, Next's annual report showed. The drop was mainly the result of a lack of a payout under the fashion retailer's long-term incentive plan. In 2016, Wolfson received £595,000 under that plan.

In 2017, Wolfson, who sits as a Conservative in the House of Lords, was paid a £773,000 salary, up from £766,000 a year earlier.

Nonetheless, as in 2016, he received no cash bonus.

For this year, it was set to rise by 2% to £789,000, which Next said was in line with the increase for the rest of its workers.

In the annual report, Wolfson repeated his judgement on 2017 as “the most challenging year we have faced for 25 years” made at the time of the company's annual results in March.

At the time, the company announced a 8.1% drop in pre-tax profit to £726.1m – the third straight year of annual decline.

Wolfson blamed Next's poor performance on rising prices for materials, squeezed household spending and a consumer shift towards buying experiences rather than goods from shops. He also admitted to an exceptional level of “self-inflicted product ranging errors and omissions2 that would be corrected this year.

Wolfson's other pay for 2017 comprised £39,000 in benefits, a £225,000 pension contribution and a £116,000 salary supplement in lieu of pension.


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