Next was widely credited with revolutionizing British high street fashion during the 1980s, establishing a middle ground between teen-oriented outlets such as Topshop and more conservative Marks & Spencer. Traditionally the UK's #2 clothing and fashion retailer behind M&S, it was overtaken in 2017 by Primark. Next has almost 540 stores in the UK, and around 200 more overseas, mainly franchised. In addition, the company operates a substantial mail order and internet business in the UK under the Next Directory banner, with around 4.7m active customers. A pioneering service when it launched in the late 1980s, Next Directory also sells a wide selection of third-party fashion labels as well as electrical goods including consumer electronics and home appliances, and a variety of other products. Group revenues for ye 2017 were flat at £4.1bn, with rising ecommerce revenues offsetting the decline from traditional retail. Next was originally a spin-off from J Hepworth & Son, a long-established menswear retailer originally founded in 1864. Hepworths took its first steps into the women's market in 1981, installing designer Liz Davies and her businessman husband George Davies to relaunch the business under the new name Next. It was a huge success, and Davies became CEO of the entire Hepworth's group - renamed Next - until over-expansion led to a sharp turnaround in performance. He was ousted in 1988 (but went on to launch the George brand at Asda and Per Una for Marks & Spencer). Lord David Wolfson of Sunningdale, a member of the family behind the Great Universal Stores retail empire, took control of the business in 1990 and sold off under-performing busineses, before installing his son as CEO in 2001. Simon Wolfson, now Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise, remains chief executive. Adbrands does not currently offer a full business profile for this brand but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
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Capsule checked 4th January 2018
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