Next plc

, is a Britishmultinationalclothing, footwear and home products retailer headquartered inEnderbyLeicestershire.It has around 700 stores, of which 500 are in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and around 200 are in continental Europe, Asia and the Middle East.Next is the largest clothing retailer by sales in the United Kingdom, having overtakenMarks & Spencerin early 2012It is listed on theLondon Stock Exchangeand is a constituent of theFTSE 100 Index.

The company was founded byJoseph HepworthinLeedsin 1864 as a tailor under the name ofJoseph Hepworth & Son.[7]Initially Hepworth was in partnership with James Rhodes, but the partnership was dissolved in 1872.[8]

On his own, Hepworth expanded the company rapidly, becoming a pioneer for the development of chain stores in Britain. By 1884 the company had 100 outlets.[9]

For much of its history Hepworth was predominantly in the ready-to-wear suit market,[10]and in 1963 the company brought in the celebrated Saville Row designerHardy Amiesto help revitalise its ready-to-wear suit collection.[11]

In 1981 the company bought womenswear retailer Kendall and Sons for 1.75 million from the retail conglomerate Combined English Stores. This gave Hepworth over 600 shops in British high streets.[12]

The intention was to redevelop Kendalls stores as a womenswear chain of shops to complement Hepworth as a chain of menswear stores.Terence Conran, the designer, was Chairman of Hepworth at this time and he recruitedGeorge Daviesto work at Kendalls. However Daviess concept was to create a new chain, called Next, initially by converting Kendalls stores. The first Next shops opened on 12 February 1982, with the Kendalls conversion complete by the end of 1983.[7]

Made chief executive in 1984, Davies then converted 50 Hepworth stores to the Next format, extending the total concept look at the same time to cover menswear. This allowed the development of mini department stores across the entire footprint, selling womens and mens clothes. This was added to by the introduction of Next interiors to stores which were deemed in the right demographical areas. In 1986, Davies moved the groups headquarters from Leeds toLeicester, to be closer to the main garment manufacturers, and the company name was changed to Next plc.[7]

In 1987, the group acquired Combined English Stores and the Grattan catalogue company. Extending first to introduce Next childrenswear, Davies then introduced the Next Directory.[13][14]

By 1988, after seven years of growth, Next had over-expanded suicidally .. some stores were not bringing in enough to pay the rent.[15]Davies was sacked and the share price fell to 7p.[15]Chairman Sir David Jones, accused him of being egotistical and taking Next to the verge of bankruptcy.[16]

In October 1988 Next sold 433 jewellery stores in the United Kingdom, which principally traded under the Salisburys and Zales brands, to theRatners Groupfor US$232 million.[17]

The company bought the youth brand Lipsy in 2008.[18]In Autumn 2009, Next launched an online catalogue for the United States offering clothing, shoes and accessories for women, men and children.[19]

Nexts prices in Ireland attracted criticism in 2009 when the company was one of four retailers accused of failing to pass on exchange rate savings to shoppers in the Republic.[20]

In July 2010, aBBCinvestigation found Next was breaking theConsumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000by billing customers for its delivery costs even if goods were returned within the seven working days.[21]A spokesman for Next admitted that they had been doing this for three years but promised to comply by August 2010.[21]Trading Standardssaid that the DSRs had been in force for ten years, and there was no excuse for not adhering to them.[21]

In 2014, Next launched localized cross-border sales toUkraine.[22]

In May 2014 theLiving Wage Foundationbought Next shares and attended the annual general meeting in an attempt to persuade the company to pay at least 6.70 and become one of the UKs 700 living wage employers. Next was targeted because it claimed to be a good employer and was thriving.Professor Sir George Bainwho set the minimum wage in 1999 said employers could afford to pay much more but acknowledged enforcement could cause unemployment in the retail sector.[23]

In October 2014, the company was one of several retailers criticised byJanice TurnerinThe Timesfor failing to pay a living wage. UK taxpayers pay 28billion to low-paid workers and Turner says retail companies which have the highest proportion of low paid workers are exploiting austerity and effectively adding staff wages to the UK welfare bill. When asked why, despite record profits their lowest paid workers were so poorly paid, Next replied that they had thirty applicants for every job advertised.[24]

Next has three main channels: Next Retail, a chain of 550+ retail branches in the United Kingdom and Ireland; Next Directory, a home shopping catalogue and Website with more than 3million active customers, and Next International, with 180+ international stores.[4]Its other businesses include Next Sourcing, for own brand products; Lipsy, which designs and sells its own branded younger womens fashion products through wholesale, retail and website channels.[4]

Until circa 1991 Next used a lower caseCourier-style typeface in black against a white background for its logo. This was replaced by the capitalised NEXT logo in aRoman-serif style type face. There were some variations of this such as the logo with each letter of NEXT in an individual square and in some stores in 2005/6 had the Next logo in a varying blue & black background with Xs printed on them, as opposed to the black background. In addition, some variations in typeface occurred during the logos use including similar fonts that had serifs positioned above the T crossbar, similar toGaramondand others that had more in common withTimes New Roman. In 2007 a newnextlogo was introduced, although the previous logo continued to be used until stock was exhausted.[25]

Next clothing often carries reference to the origins of the company in 1982 with use of 82 or 1982 as a design feature on clothes in all ranges.[26]

Prior to 2007 Next only advertised immediately prior to a sale, usually through brief television spots and newspaper advertising. In 2007 following a disappointing 7.2% fall inlike for likesales, it announced it was investing 17million over the next three years to revive its existing stores and product offering + an additional 10m for marketing.[27]Yasmin Le Bonwho modelled in the first Next Directory in Spring 1988 featured in an on-line fashion show.[27]

In September 2007, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Next launched its first television campaign in twelve years named Alis Party with the songSuddenly I Seeand starring Brazilian supermodelAlessandra Ambrosio.[28]All extra casts were Next employees, otherwise nicknamed nextras. A second advert featuring Ambrosio, was screened in November 2007 and the songs were regularly played instore during the campaign.[29]

An advert directed byBen Wattsand filmed on the banks of theRiver Seinewas shown in September 2010 to reflect the seasonsParisianchic styles. It was soundtracked byThe SpecialsA Message to You, Rudyand starred Brazilian modelEmanuela de Paulaand Spanish actorJon Kortajarena.[30]

Chairman. Next. Archived fromthe originalon 27 February 2011

Next Plc NXT:LSE Company Description.

M&S Loses Britains Largest Clothing Retailer Title to Next. Bloomberg. 29 June 2012

Next profits overtake M&S for first time. The Telegraph. 20 March 2014

The London Gazette, 9 July 1872, p.3121

High Street Heroes: The Story of British Retail in 50 People

Men and Menswear: Sartorial Consumption in Britain 1880-1939

. Aldershot: Ashgate. p.193.ISBN0754603849.

Alison Adbergham, View of Fashion in The Guardian (UK newspaper, 8 October 1963, p.8

Rosemary Unworth, Hepworth Buys CES Offshoot in

Alexander, Hilary (15 May 2009).Woodstock theme for 21st Anniversary of Next Directory.

Next Directory a background history on Next.

Davies, George (15 October 1995).Return of the fashion maverick.

Cave, Andrew (30 May 2010).George Davis to open 60-branch chain in Gulf.

Next P.L.C. to Sell Stores to Ratners. The New York Times. 12 October 1988

Next splashes 17m on youth brand Lipsy. 3 October 2008

Susannah Streeter (9 July 2010).Next breaks refund rules for online deliveries. BBC News

UK fashion retailer Next launches localized cross-border sales to Ukraine. 20 November 2014

Living Wage Foundation buys Next shares and protests at meeting.

Janice Turner (4 October 2014).Dont make me pay your staff, Sainsburys.

Next rebrands. Intangible Business. March 2007

Example 1982 branding. Next. Archived fromthe originalon 14 February 2009

Next launch on-line catwalk.

Alessandra Ambrosio Next UK Christmas TV commercial

Next Christmas 09 Emanuela de Paula, Nathan Bogle and Amy Hixon. Beauty Confessional. 3 December 2009. Archived fromthe originalon 3 September 2012

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This page was last edited on 4 April 2018, at 15:41.

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