Investment: Next suffers among the fashion victims
Only weeks later the group issued a dire profits warning caused by buying too much high-fashion stock in women's clothing and not enough of the classics.
If Mrs Jones is the bellwether of Next's fortunes, things could be looking up. She is again finding garments she likes again in Next outlets, and the sales figures are on an improving trend.
Like-for-like sales that were 9 per cent down at the half year have turned into a 1.5 per cent rise. Analysts say the balance of the stores' product ranges is looking better.
Why, then, did Next shares fall 37.5p yesterday to a near three-year low of 407p? True, the market was down overall. But Next is also a company which has issued a profits warning and is in a sector which nobody loves.
So it may take another set of trading figures before the market really starts to believe that Next has put its mistakes behind it, even though the management seems to be doing all the right things.
The company has appointed a new womenswear director whose new ranges should start coming through from next month. New ordering and checking procedures have been introduced and improved warehousing is coming on stream.
Mr Jones is cautious on like-for-like sales in such a low-inflation environment. Profit growth will come instead from new space (80,000 square feet in the second half of the year) and higher sales per square foot.
On full-year forecasts the shares trade on a forward rating of 13. That is cheap for Next. But, given that the horror of the profits warning will take a while yet to fade away, there is no rush to buy.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
Heathrow airport reopens runways after British Airways plane 'on fire over London' makes emergency landing
Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.