Next plc is a British, multinational retail company based in England. The business was founded in Leeds in 1864 by tailor Joseph Hepworth and was originally called Joseph Hepworth & Sons. It was not until 12 February, 1982 that the company opened its first shop under the banner of Next. By the end of July of that year, 70 Next stores had been opened.
The company operates in various sectors of the retail market, however, it started life off as women's fashion boutique shop. A men'swear department was added in 1984, a division that includes suits, ties and underwear, and a year later Next introduced home interiors into its stores. This department sells items such as Next own brand bed linen, Next purple cushions and upholstery of other styles and prints. Next also offers bathroom and bedroom upholstery, including beds and mattresses, as well as fitted kitchens.
In 1987, Next added a children'swear section to its stores, which was split into individual categories for boys and girls, and was followed by a Baby Boutique department. Next Flowers launched in 2001 and in 2010 the company introduced its own brand of sportswear, called NX Sports. Other own brand products are manufactured under Next Sourcing, with Next marketing its own goods as aspirational but affordable.