In this assignment we have been set the task of carrying out a retail evaluation project of Next plc.
This has to be done from the point of view from a consultant or analyst.
The assignment has been split up into two tasks, firstly to analyse and evaluate Next plc, then secondly suggest any ways in which their marketing performance can be improved for future success.
My first step is to get an overview of Next plc as a company, how it started, the market sector it operates in and its past and present performance.
2. History of Next
To analyse Next we need to get a clear view of the business and start from the very beginning. So back in 1864 was the very beginning for the company we now know as Next. J. Hepworth and Son Tailors established a business in Leeds, then called Gentleman¡¦s Tailors.
J. Hepworth shed its old identity therefore it no longer exists in the former guise. Since then it has grown immensely to the large company we know today.
1948 Chain stores were established and then 33 years later in 1981 J. Hepworth bought Kendall stores and established women¡¦s clothing stores. It was needed that he diversifies into women¡¦s wear. When this took place it was a large change, Next converted 70 stores in 6 weeks.
1982 George Davis joined the company in order to sell designer style clothing at High street prices. This is when the Next Womenswear chain was launched. Two years later in 1984 the men¡¦s range was launched, followed by the range of household furnishing in 1985.
It wasn¡¦t until 1987 when the Childrenswear was formed; another product range in the growing company of Next and this was followed by Next Directory in 1988. The Directory allowed them to target many customers and sell products without paying high street rents. Currently they are ranked number one among High Street names which are offering mail ordering clothing.
The company was well established and began to go global offering