Next Marketing Strategy - Case Study Example

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Next plc is a major company dealing in retail fashion clothing and is based in Leicester, UK that has nearly 440 stores in the UK and Ireland. It has more than 100 franchise stores operating in the rest of the world. The company trades on the London stock exchange and has had annual sales of $5490 million as of 2006…
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Download file to see previous pages The company designs, manufactures and sells clothes under the brand name 'Next' and targets people between the age group of 20 to 40. Since its expansion drive in 1999, the company had to close down its international outlets that were managed by it directly, and has since then concentrated on franchising options for the overseas markets. It operates in well over 20 different countries. Since 1999, the company's primary activities have been progressing along two major sections namely retail clothing and catalog sales. The retail section of the company contributes to around two thirds of the company's income. It was around 821 million in 1999. Moreover, the company has also adopted the policy of closing down smaller stores and has been in favor of opening superstores. Under its 'Next catalog' banner, the company offers the service of enabling customers to order products using a catalog, after which the purchased products are delivered to the customer's home. In fact, this method of shopping (under the next brand) has become ingrained in the minds of the common Briton.
One of the primary differences between other companies and next happens to be the fact that the latter focuses on the middle class customers. It designs and markets affordable clothes that are contemporary unlike other retail houses such as marks & Spencer that produces fashionable garments under various brand names. Likewise, the company has also adopted the policy of designing its clothes under its watchful eye, but in an attempt to cut down costs, it has been getting the goods produced in countries such as china, where the cost of production is comparatively much cheaper. The production operations are handled by the company's house in Hong Kong. The company has also started offering financial services under the next brand credit financing. In spite of these branches, retail and catalog sales continue to be the two main contributors to the company's revenues.

The current trend and pattern of expansion of the company suggests a pattern similar to the one that Marks & Spencer had been following a little while earlier (except the approach of in-country production followed by M&S, which proved costly). Many industry experts predict that he company today stands at a crossroad, where speculating where the company would be faced in the near future would be extremely hard to figure out. The company now holds just a little over half of the stores it used to own way back during the 80s and most have been closed down as a result of next finding itself unable to manage such a large chain. Moreover, during that period of the 80s and the 90s, the company was not ale to register any significant rise in sales as a result of these expansions. The stagnant UK market since the last decade has forced the company to turn towards overseas markets, which is regarded by many as a moderate policy. The shutting down of small shops, paving the way for bigger stores has helped it manage its operations in a better manner, which is evident from the fact that the company's revenues started to climb since the move was taken.

The most notable points about the company and its operating environment are as listed below:

1. End of international expansion in 1999 as a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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