Next calls for a relaxation of immigration rules in wake of pre-Christmas logistics fears

Th retailer has six stores in Newcastle

<p>View of Intu Eldon Square shopping centre with Next store in Newcastle upon Tyne, England</p>

View of Intu Eldon Square shopping centre with Next store in Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Retailer Next has issued a warning that, without relaxation of immigration rules, they are likely to experience issues with their service in the lead up to Christmas.

The high street store has over 500 shops across the UK, including six in Newcastle.

Despite reporting pre-tax profits of £347 million for the six months to 31 July, the retailer is concerned about the upcoming pre-Christmas period.

In a statement, Next said they hope the Government takes a “more decisive” approach to the “looming skills crisis in warehouses, restaurants, hotels, care homes and many seasonal industries.

They believe this is necessary for the sake of the wider UK economy.

Next said: “We anticipate that, without some relaxation of immigration rules, we are likely to experience some degradation in our service in the run-up to Christmas.

“The HGV crisis was foreseen and widely predicted for many months.

“For the sake of the wider UK economy, we hope that the Government will take a more decisive approach to the looming skills crisis in warehouses, restaurants, hotels, care homes and many seasonal industries.

"Without the contribution of overseas workers to assist with these peaks, we suspect customer deliveries may take longer to arrive as we go into the peak trading season.

"A demand led approach to ensuring the country has the skills it needs is now vital."