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NEXT Group PLC
Type Public (LSE: NXT)
Founded 1864 as Joseph Hepworth & Son
1982 as Next
Headquarters Enderby, Leicestershire, England
Industry Clothing
Products Clothing, accessories
Revenue £3,271.5 million (2009)[1]
Operating income £478.3 million (2009)[1]
Net income £302.3 million (2009)[1]
Employees 59,088 (2009)[1]
Website www.next.co.uk
Next on Oxford Street in London

Next plc (LSE: NXT) is a British retailer, with its headquarters in Enderby, Leicestershire, England. It is one of the United Kingdom's largest clothing retailers, number three behind Marks & Spencer and Philip Green's retail empire of Bhs and Arcadia Group. The company, which has employed some of the biggest names in the fashion world including Alessandra Ambrosio, Noémie Lenoir, Yasmin Le Bon, Gabriel Aubry and Paul Sculfor, has over 400 stores throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and 50 franchise branches in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. These are located at a mixture of high streets, shopping centres and retail parks. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Contents

History

The Company was founded by Joseph Hepworth in Leeds in 1864 as a tailor under the name of Joseph Hepworth & Son.[2] The Company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1948.

In 1982 the Company bought Kendall & Sons Ltd, a Leicester based rainwear and ladies fashion company from Combined English Stores, to redevelop their stores as a womenswear chain of shops. Terence Conran, the designer, was Chairman of Hepworth's at this time and he recruited George Davies to create the unique NEXT concept using the Kendalls shops. The first stores were opened on 12 February 1982,[2] and by 1983 all 80 of Kendall's stores had been converted by Davies to the NEXT brand.

In 1984, Davies became the Chief Executive of the group and launched Next for Men.[2] In 1985 the Company began to develop mini department stores selling women's, men's and children's clothes as well as Next Interiors all under one roof.[2] In 1986 the name of the Company was changed to Next plc,[2] the Company moved its head office from Leeds to Leicester and the catalogue company Grattan was acquired.[2] The Company acquired Combined English Stores in 1987. In 1988 Davies then launched the up-market NEXT directory.[2]

In December 1988, Davies left the Company to work for Asda. Grattans was sold to Otto Versand in 1991.[2]

In Autumn 2009, Next launched an online catalogue for the United States offering clothing, shoes and accessories for women, men and children.[3]

Operations

Next sells some of its merchandise through the Next Directory, a home shopping catalogue launched in 1988. Most Next stores only sell their own brand label although recently a number of larger Next stores such as Meadowhall have begun to sell branded goods such as trainers from Gola and Morphy Richards electrical goods. More recently the company has begun to tap into the growing market for trendy men's underwear by stocking the latest styles of Calvin Klein and Vishal Vora underwear. The Next website has recently seen the addition of a large brand section with names such as Firetrap, Levi's and Rock and Republic.

Next produces an internal magazine called 'The Faith Restorer.' This includes reports on new store openings, recent events (such as conferences or news on advertising campaigns), contributions provided by stores, good customer service and the 'What not to say' column that reports on recent complaints and advises employees on how to avoid them.

Senior management

role salary bonus total
Simon A. Wolfson[4] Chief Executive Officer £675,000 £123,000 £798,000
David W. Keens[5] Group Finance Director £450,000 £82,000 £532,000
Christos E. Angelides[6] Group Product Director £470,000 £85,000 £555,000
Andrew J. Varley[7] Group Property Director £335,000 £61,000 £396,000

Logos and Marketing

Next logo used from 1991
Next Directory logo

Until circa 1991 Next used a lower case Courier-style typeface in black against a white background for its logo. This was replaced by the capitalised NEXT logo in a Roman-serif style type face that is still widely used in stores and corporate marketing. There have been 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 "X's" printed on them, as opposed to the black background. In addition, some variations in typeface occurred during the logo's use - including similar fonts that had serifs positioned above the "T" crossbar, similar to Garamond and others that had more in common with Times New Roman.

As of 2007 a brand new next logo has been introduced, although the previous logo in use since 1991 continues to be used throughout marketing, directories, carrier bags and coat hangers for now until all consumables that carry the old design have been exhausted. Generally, the old logo will now only be seen on shopping baskets in older stores, a small quantity of hangers, some price tickets and directories pre-Spring 2007.

For a long period in recent years Next has marketed only to advertise an impending sale usually through brief television spots and newspaper advertising and in and out of stores. However recently billboard advertising featuring Alessandra Ambrosio and later in 2007 Yasmin Le Bon have advertised the stores womenswear.[8]

In September 2007, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Next launched its first television campaign in 12 years named 'Ali's Party' with the song 'Suddenly I See'. It stars Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio. The campaign is aimed towards young working women.[9] All extra casts are Next employees, otherwise nicknamed 'nextras'. A second advert, also featuring Ambrosio, was screened during November 2007. Throughout the period when the adverts were being aired the songs were regularly played instore. The third advert in the series has been filmed in Brazil and features Emanuela De Paula. The song used in the latest advertisement for Autumn/Winter 2008 is She's So Lovely by Scouting for Girls.

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.[10]

Other businesses

Next also own the following businesses:

  • Next Clearance which sell previous seasons stock at a lower price than the core Next stores.
  • Lime which sells cheaper priced stock. The first branches opened in Oxford, Derby, Nottingham, Newbury, Glasgow, Douglas in the Isle of Man, Liverpool and Llandudno in 2006. In November 2007 Lime opened in the MetroCentre, Gateshead. The Lime stores replace existing Next outlets which have since moved to larger premises nearby. Lime-branded items are also now stocked at larger Next Clearance stores. Lime was setup primarily as competition for low cost competitors such as Primark, Peacocks, Matalan and the clothing operations of supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's.[11] The Lime brand was discontinued in early 2008. Stores with long leases are being converted in temporary childrenswear or home stores. For example, the Lime Store in the MetroCentre, Gateshead opened as temporary childrenswear store before being converted into a Lipsy store. All Lime stores have now closed, the last one was on the Isle of Man.
  • Ventura which is a call centre operator.[12]
  • Next Sourcing which sources products.
  • www.branddirectory.co.uk which sells top name brands aimed at fashionable youths.
  • Lipsy - Women's fashion retailer

Stores

Next's largest store in the Arndale Centre in Manchester.

Next have 448 stores located around the world. They are in locations such as the United Kingdom, Denmark,Iceland and Ireland as well as in other parts of the world such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras al Khaimah,Algeria,India, Pakistan and Kuwait and Hong Kong. The stores range in size and goods. While most stores feature mainly fashion, some also include homewares and furniture as well, classing the store as a department store.

All non UK and Ireland stores with the exception of Copenhagen, Denmark are franchises. One of the largest franchises is in Japan, operated by Xebio.

Next launched a US online catalogue in 2009 offering clothing, accessories and shoes for women, men and children.[3]

Sales

Next discount sales are very popular events usually occurring four times a year, two at the end of seasons and two mid-season. Queuing for the sales starts early with people arriving at times as early as 2 am to wait for the store to open as early as 4am.

Next market the sale by informing customers on receipts printed up to three weeks before the sale starts, leaflets available at the till and by using national television adverts aired the night before the sale.

The prices that Next charge in Ireland, compared to the UK, has attracted criticism.[13]

References

External links

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