Next Multinational Clothing Line
Next is a British clothing line that is multinational. It was once called J. Hepworth and Son after the founder, Joseph Hepworth, until 1982 when it was changed to be called the name Next. The Multinational company has its headquarters in Enderby, Leicestershire and it has over 700 stores. 500 of those stores are located in the United Kingdom alone, and the other 200 are scattered all across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. This company is the largest retailer for fashion-forward clothes in the entire United Kingdom as of 2014. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a totally public company.
When Was it Founded
Next was founded by Joseph Hepworth and the first store was open in Leeds in 1864. The first store was called Joseph Hepworth and Son. When it first opened its doors, Hepworth had a partner named James Rhodes, but the partnership did not last long and was dissolved in 1872. Hepworth rapidly expanded the company on his own and it officially became a chain of stores in 1884 when the company’s 100th outlet opened. At first, the stores sold primarily already tailored suits, but in 1963 designers revamped the collection and began adding more options to the racks.
How They Added Women’s Wear
In 1981, the year before they officially became known as Next, the company bought out the women’s wear company, Kendall and Sons for a total of 1.75 million pounds. This automatically gave the company 600 new stores and added a whole new line of clothes into the J. Hepworth and Son empire that was building. The intention of buying out Kendall and Sons was to add a line of women’s clothes that complimented the men’s suits that they already had. However, the idea became even bigger and better than they ever envisioned at first.
How Next Became Next
The head designed of J Hepworth and Son, who was also the chairman, hired George Davies to come on board and work for Kendall and Son’s. However, Davies had bigger ideas to take the chain to the next level. He wanted to create an entirely new chain and name it Next. The first Next stores opened their doors on February 12, 1982, and the conversion was completed by the end of 1983. George Davies was made chief executive in 1984 and he began his new duties by turning 50 J Hepworth and Son stores into the Next format.
In 1987, Next had become so large that it began introducing childrenswear. 1988 was a challenging year because Next had expanded so quickly that some of the stores were not making enough to cover the rent, but that dip didn’t last for long. They were quickly back on top and now have an empire of physical stores as well as online stores with everything they sell. If you can’t find a store near you, you can call the Next telephone number for help in finding a location or go to their online store to find anything you are looking for.