Next plc is a British clothes retailer, with its headquarters in Enderby, Leicester. 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.
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, 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. 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. In 1986 the name of the Company was changed to Next plc, the Company moved its head office from Leeds to Leicester and the catalogue company Grattan was acquired. The Company acquired Combined English Stores in 1987. In 1988 Davies then launched the up-market NEXT directory.
In December 1988, Davies left the Company to work for Asda. Grattans was sold to Otto Versand in 1991.
Next produces an internal magazine called 'The Faith Restorer.' This includes reports on new store openings, recent events (such as staff parties or news on advertising campaigns), contributions provided by stores, good customer service and the famous 'What not to say' column that reports on recent complaints and advises employees on how to avoid them in the future.
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 bacground 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 obove 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. Most of these have now gone and very rarely will you see them in shops.
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.
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. 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 again features Alessandra Ambrosio and Paul Sculfor. The song used in the latest advertisement for Autumn/Winter 2008 is ][she's so lovely]] by scouting for girls
Next also own the following businesses:
Next Directory profits up as range widens.(2001 first half profit figures)(Brief Article)(Statistical Data Included)
Sep 14, 2001; Next Directory has replicated the success of the group's retail operation by reporting an 18 per cent rise in turnover, with...