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A case study of the retail chain NEXT

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction In 1864 Hepworth & Son, a Gentleman's Tailors store was established in Leeds. Hepworth then went on to buy the chain of Kendalls rainwear shops in order to develop a group of Womenswear shops which was called NEXT. Since 1982, NEXT has expanded in a variety of different ways, whether it has been by expanding on existing products or clothing ranges or by expanding into different areas, for example home interior ranges. On February the 12th, 1982,the first NEXT women's wear store was opened. It introduced an exclusive and co-ordinated collection of stylised clothing as well as shoes and women's accessories. By the end of July, NEXT had expanded greatly, forming seventy new shops. The collection ranges for men, children and home followed the opening of the women's collection. In August 1984, NEXT launched their clothing range for men, and by December there had developed 52 shops. The same year, the first "mini" department store was opened in Edinburgh. This incorporated a caf� as well as Womenswear, menswear, and shoes. When NEXT launched their interior range of soft furnishings for the home in August 1985, the first department store, which had, Womenswear, menswear and interiors, was opened in Regent Street, in London. Between 1987 and 1988, NEXT launched both their Children's wear collection as well as their directory, so that their customers were able to buy their products in the comfort in their home, with time to spare and look at the products carefully. In 1993, NEXT then announced the brand strategy of "One Brand Two Ways of Shopping", which brought together the common ranges across both retail and home shopping formats. To further develop this strategy, in 1999 there was a launch of shopping on the Internet from the NEXT Directory at www.next.co.uk. NEXT is now trading from over 330 stores in the UK, in 16 countries worldwide, such as: Bahrain Cyprus, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait and Qatar, and has 49 stores overseas. ...read more.

Middle

Employees can get unmotivated by this, therefore causing a negative atmosphere in the workplace. However there are some situations where harsh leadership is vital. Advantages of this are that quick decisions can be made and there is no time wasted on discussion resulting in the business saving time and money. Next only use this method when quick decision-making is vital, usually by the manager, for example; if there is a close deadline to be met, but it rarely has a negative effect on the staff, as it is not used to intentionally exclude members of staff. Consultative management also takes place within next and this develops their democratic style with which workers are asked opinion. Before any decisions are made, the manager consults their team. Employees discuss the problem and views taken into consideration. The decision is the managers but based on the conclusions of the group. The advantages of this are that it helps to motivate staff as they are aware that they have a say in the business to some extent as with the democratic style, but their decisions are not necessarily what the company goes by. The disadvantages of this are that it is time consuming and effort will be needed by a manager to do this. The Management encourages employees to set goals in line within the organization aims. This is management by objective. The employees are reviewed regularly in performance appraisals. The advantages of this style are that it will increase efficiency of individuals and help to motivate them and train them so they are productive. However, the disadvantages of this is that it needs to be well organized and will not work in highly structured jobs. The Democratic style is the management style that Next adopts in general. This sort of management style involves empowerment. With this type of management style it allows the manager to feel comfortable with other people in the organization making some of the decisions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Good quality and price This factor is key for success. One way to achieve this object is possibly to look for a supplier who is located in an emerging market to participate at low labour costs. However, this country should have a clothing manufacturing background, for example India, Turkey or Hong Kong, so that it is easy to recruit well-trained employees. Furthermore, the supplier should be a part of the production process, so that stock capacity can be reduced. A quality officer from Next should be at the suppliers at all times in order to guarantee the high quality of clothes. To lower the costs and to gain a better trade position, suppliers should be reduced to a minimum and therefore new price conditions negotiated. This can lead Next to low costs and high quality in the long run. Relationship between next and its environment The green issue is gaining greater importance and Next should aim to make further progress in this area. The production process should ensure that Next guarantees that plants are environmentally friendly. The factories should contain filters so that erosion is reduced and any used chemicals are biologically decomposed. Another area is labour force. Next and its supplies should try and aim their production to be carried out successfully and without child labour. This should be communicated to the customers of Next. Shopping as an event Value should be added for customers, customer care and service should be provided in general. Next should ain to expand their smaller branches into superstores, so that customers are offered special services, i.e. clothing consultancies, childcare. In order to attract more customers and help them enjoy their shopping experience small events should be held. Next could perhaps place a small caf� or resting area in the store for inactive people who are not engaged in the process of shopping. In order for the main aim of "double digit growth" to be achieved and for next plc to get a better position in the market, a strong brand and good service should help lead to this. ...read more.

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