Next (clothing)

Next (clothing)
Next Group Plc
Type Public company (LSENXT)
Industry Retailer
Founded 1864 as Joseph Hepworth & Son Leeds, West Yorkshire
1982 as Next
Founder(s) Joseph Hepworth
Headquarters Enderby, Leicestershire, England
Number of locations 550 stores (2010)
Area served Worldwide
Key people John Barton[1]
Simon Wolfson[1]
(Chief Executive)
Revenue increase£3,406.5 million (2010)[2]
Operating income increase£529.8 million (2010)[2]
Net income increase£364.0 million (2010)[2]
Employees 55,122 (2010)[3]

Next plc (LSENXT) is a British retailer marketing clothing, footwear, accessories and home products with its headquarters in Enderby, Leicestershire, England.[4] The company has over 550 stores throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and 50 franchise branches in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.



The company was founded by Joseph Hepworth in Leeds in 1864 as a tailor under the name of Joseph Hepworth & Son.[5]

In 1982 Hepworth & Son acquired Kendall & Sons Ltd, a Leicester based rainwear and ladies fashion company from Combined English Stores. The intention was to redevelop the Kendall's stores as a womenswear chain of shops. Terence Conran, the designer, was Chairman of Hepworth's at this time and he recruited George Davies, who went on to become Chief Executive of NEXT.

The first NEXT shops opened on 12 February 1982, with the Kendall's conversion complete by the end of 1983.[5]

Made chief executive in 1984, Davies then converted the 50 Hepworths stores to the NEXT format, extending the total concept look at the same time to cover menswear. This allowed the development mini department across the entire footprint, selling women's and men's and 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 to Leicester, to be closer to the main garment manufacturers. The groups name changed to NEXT plc.[5]

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.[6][7]

By 1988, "after seven years of growth, Next had over- expanded suicidally" .. "some stores were not bringing in enough to pay the rent."[8] Davies was sacked and the share price fell to 7p.[8] Chairman Sir David Jones, accused him of being egotistical and taking Next to the verge of bankruptcy.[9]

In Autumn 2009, Next launched an online catalogue for the United States offering clothing, shoes and accessories for women, men and children.[10]


A branch on a retail park location in Leeds.

Next has three main outlets: Next Retail, a chain of 500+ retail branches in the United Kingdom and Ireland; Next Directory, a home shopping catalogue and Website with more than 2 million 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 women's fashion products through wholesale, retail and Website channels.[4]

In July 2010, a BBC investigation found Next was breaking the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 by billing customers for its delivery costs even if goods were returned within the seven working days.[11] A spokesman for Next admitted that they had been doing this for three years but promised to comply by August 2010.[11] Trading Standards said that the DSRs had been in force for ten years, and there was no excuse for not adhering to them.[11] "Although the majority of businesses ..are law-abiding, there is a small minority that are not and those are the companies we need to take action against."[11]

Prices charged in Ireland have attracted criticism. Next was one of four retailers accused of failing to pass on exchange rate savings to shoppers in the Republic.[12]

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.

Senior management

role salary bonus total
Simon Wolfson[13] Chief Executive Officer £675,000 £123,000 £798,000
David W. Keens[14] Group Finance Director £450,000 £82,000 £532,000
Christos E. Angelides[15] Group Product Director £480,000 £85,000 £565,000
Andrew J. Varley[16] 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. 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 "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. In 2007 a new next logo was introduced, although the previous logo continued to be used until stock was exhausted.
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.[17]

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 in like for like sales, it announced it was investing "£17 million over the next three years to revive its existing stores and product offering" + an additional £10m for marketing.[18] Yasmin Le Bon who modelled in the first Next Directory in Spring 1988 featured in an on-line fashion show.[18]

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' starring Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio. [19] 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.

An advert directed by Ben Watts and filmed on the banks of the river Seine was shown in September 2010 to reflect the season’s Parisian chic styles. It was soundtracked by The Specials’ "A Message to You, Rudy" and starred Brazilian model Emanuela de Paula and Spanish actor Jon Kortajarena.[20]

Next's largest branch in the Arndale Centre in Manchester.
Factory 1b.svg Companies portal


  1. ^ a b "Chairman". Next. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Annual reports and accounts:5 year history". Next PLC. January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Next PLC website". Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Next Plc NXT:LSE Company Description". Financial Times. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Next history". Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Alexander, Hilary (15 May 2009). "Woodstock theme for 21st Anniversary of Next Directory". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  7. ^ "Next Directory – a background history on Next". Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Davies, George (15 October 1995). "Return of the fashion maverick". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  9. ^ Cave, Andrew (30 May 2010). "George Davis to open 60-branch chain in Gulf". Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Next Direct". Next Direct. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c d Susannah Streeter (9 July 2010). "Next breaks refund rules for online deliveries". BBC News. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Price is still not right". The Irish TImes. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Simon A. Wolfson: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 17 September 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ "David W. Keens: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 17 September 2009. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Christos E. Angelides: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 17 September 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Andrew J. Varley: Executive Profile & Biography". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 17 September 2009. [dead link]
  17. ^ Example 1982 branding[dead link]
  18. ^ a b "Next launch on-line catwalk". Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "Next launches TV campaign". Source: | Author: Nikki Preston Retrieved on 2007-09-13.
  20. ^ Beauty Confessional

External links

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