Research limitations/Implications

Due to a limited word count the report was limited to a very concise overview of the issue in question.


Due to a lack of exclusive findings and the limited word count the report is easily reconstructed. The author however hopes to have offered a conclusive summery of the topic.
Company Evaluation

The Next Group is, after Marks and Spencer, the second largest high street clothing retailer in the British market. It is however the most successful multi-channel retailer encompassing a large scale high street retailer with international ventures, a directory business as well as an e-commerce side.  
Founded in 1864 as a gentleman’s tailor the brand Next was created in the 1980s. Only four years later Next Directory is established and the company is one of the first to make the move into e-commerce in 1999 (mintel.co.uk, 2008).

Financial Overview

At the moment Next is struggling to remain in the same strong position it has kept since the 1990s. Retail sales for the first half of 2008 are down on the previous year, profits before tax have dropped by 12.4% to £173.5 million, like for like sales have fallen by 6% (drapersonline.com, 2008) whereas the usually strong Directory increased its market share by 2.2% (next.co.uk, 2008).
Raising the overall price point in order to move the brand towards a more aspirational market section goes in hand with the trend for consumers to trade up when choosing clothing for personal use (mintel.co.uk, 2008).   The company has denied that this is a move to cover rising production costs and falling sales volumes but puts the pricing strategy down to a value added approach (mintel.co.uk, 2008). It is however questionable whether Next’s brand offering matches the needs of the target market to justify the higher prices.

Outlet portfolio

The company has moved much of its outlet space into large out of town retail parks. The stores in these locations tend to be too...