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Next plc (styled as next) is a British multinational clothing, footwear and home products retailer, which has its headquarters in Enderby, England. It has around 700 stores, of which circa 500 are in the United Kingdom, and circa 200 across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Next is the largest clothing retailer by sales in the United Kingdom, having overtaken Marks & Spencer in early 2012 and 2014. 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. Initially Hepworth was in partnership with James Rhodes, but the partnership was dissolved in 1872.

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

For much of its history Hepworth was predominantly in the ready-to-wear suit market. In 1963, the company brought in the celebrated Savile Row designer Hardy Amies to help revitalise its ready-to-wear suit collection.

Operations

Next has three main channels: Next Retail, a chain of 550+ retail branches in the United Kingdom; Next Directory, a home shopping catalogue and website with more than 3 million active customers, and Next International, with 180+ international stores. 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.

Next operates stores and e-commerce for Victoria's Secret in the UK. In September 2021, Next announced a joint venture with Gap. Next will manage Gap's UK website and place Gap concessions in some Next stores. The deal preserves Gap's presence on the UK high street after Gap announced in July 2021 it would close all of its UK stores.

In September 2018, the company's Irish operations profits were separated from Next plc. Next (Ireland) Ltd was formally established to focus on the distribution of products in its physical stores and its online store in the Republic of Ireland. At the same time Next Germany was established.

Logos and marketing

The Next logo used from 1991 to 2007

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 2005/2006 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.

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. Yasmin Le Bon who modelled in the first Next Directory in Spring 1988 featured in an on-line fashion show.

In September 2007, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Next launched its first television campaign in twelve years named 'Ali's Party' with the song 'Suddenly I See' and starring Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio. 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.

Timeline

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Life at Next

Web

May 17, 2019

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