The study is based on the analysis of Next Retail Clothing in Denmark. Next is a United Kingdom-based company. In the study a complete analysis of the retail mix is carried out and the reasons for their success have been highlighted.
NEXT Retail clothing Copenhagen, Denmark has been selected for the assessment. NEXT is a retail chain with over 500 stores in the United Kingdom. NEXT has a directory of a home shopping catalogue and website with over 3 million customers who participate actively in their activities. NEXT International has a presence all over the world and has over 180 stores all across the world. NEXT has a website service for over 30 countries. NEXT has a separate sourcing group, which is responsible for the designs, sources and purchase of the NEXT branded products. The brand which is most famous of Denmark is "Lipsy"; it is extremely popular in the young female population. Lipsy's most of the sales are through retail but they also use internet effectively to promote their brands. The revenues for the year 2011 were GBP 3.5 Billion of NEXT Clothing. ("Next Plc NXT: LSE Company Description" Financial Times, 2011)
NEXT was first launched in the year 1982 and the first store consisted of only styling and clothing items for women. Soon they realized that there is also a market for men and children's clothing and accessories and later ventured into home collections also. NEXT has an in-house designing team which is held responsible to cater to the latest fashion trends. In 1988, NEXT introduced a NextDirectory which was hardbook containing the all designs available for sale. In 1999, online shopping was introduced and the entire catalogue was available on the website. The international website provides service in over 30 countries. Next has a culture which focuses on customer orientation and makes sure that the customers can buy the products conveniently. A new way of delivery service has been introduced which delivers the orders on the weekends just to make sure that the customers can conveniently check the product and receive the deliveries.
Segmentation Variables for the Denmark Clothing Market
There are basic two kinds of segmentation variables for any market; macro and micro. Macro variables cover the demographics and geographic while micro variable consists of behavioral and psychographics. (Woodhouse and Collingridge, 1993) It is crucial to identify the variables which suit the clothing market of Denmark for Next clothing retail. The following table will help us analyzing the major variables which suit them:
Suitability of Segmentation Variables for Denmark's Clothing Retail
Geographic location is near to the parent company which helps in making transactions and bringing in stuff from UK.
Urban areas are more suited their brand which consists of major portion of Denmark.
Age: People of different age brackets have different preferences which change with time.
Social Class: Socio Economic Class A, B, C are in majority which means people have more purchasing power.
Education: College going students are the major spenders in the clothing industry.
Lifestyle: People in Denmark have a trendy lifestyle.
Fashion Orientation: People like to follow fashion and are updated with the fashion industry.
Speed: People like to buy stuff online because they have a fast lifestyle which suits Next as they have a reliable delivery service.
Usage Rate: People like to switch clothes in Denmark quickly as they want to be up-to-date with the fashion which means there is an opportunity to sell more.
Targeting and Segmentation:
The following is the segment that Next Denmark has targeted:
Socio Economic Class: A, B and C
Lifecycle Stage: Bachelor Stage and Newly Married Couples
Occasions (especially Christmas)
User Status: Regular, Potential and First Time
Market Driven Strategies:
A competitive advantage of a firm can be evaluated by Porter's Generic Map which would help in identifying the firm's strengths which can either be based on cost advantages or by differentiation. These strengths can be applied in two types of market; broad or narrow. So to sum the Porter's generic map there could be three strategies 1) Cost Leadership 2) Differentiation 3) Focus industry dependent. (Porter M.E., 2008)
Broad (Industry Wide)
Cost Leadership Strategy
Narrow (Market Segment)
Focus Strategy (Low Cost)
Focus Strategy (Differentiation)
(William E. Fruhan, Jr., "NPV Model of Strategy)
Next has employed a cost leadership strategy. The major products of Next are their adult fashion wear which is catering to the people of age group 20-40. Next has been selling their products at low prices which has enabled them to cater to a large audience and they have managed to gain a lot of market share in the troubled financial times. Differentiation is not that important for Next because similar alternatives are available for the target consumers at higher prices so they have focused themselves on working on the processes which can cut their costs and enable them to charge a lesser price. Lesser price does not mean that they have compromised on the quality of the products instead they have carefully monitored that the quality does not suffer. (Wilson and Gilligan, 1998) Strategic group mapping helps the company in identifying their own position relative to the positions of their competitors. It is important to identify the positioning of the competitors as this can give them an idea about the free space in the market from where they can get many opportunities. On the other hand, a company can also avoid entering a space which is already overcrowded. (Kippenberger, 1998)
MARKS & SPENCER
(Kaplan, Robert S.; David P. Norton (2004). Stratgey Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes, page 7)
The above strategic mapping shows that the positioning of all the three competitors is quite different from each other. Marks & Spencer is considered as a high priced brand which has focused on differentiation. C&A lies between in the graph because it has products which are differentiated and the price is also neither high nor low. The target market of Next is mostly the younger generation therefore they cannot charge a high price because the younger generation does not have that much spending power. However even with a low price Next has managed to maintain a substantial differentiation through the efforts of the Next Sourcing department who are responsible for continuous innovation and styling of the products. (Kaplan, Robert S.; David P. Norton, 2004)
Value Chain Analysis
Value chain analysis basically describes the whole process of how the raw materials are bought and then processed to be sold to the end customers. The value chain analysis can be classified into two categories: 1) Primary Activities 2) Support Activities. Primary activities are those activities which are directly involved in the creation and delivery of the product. Support activities are those activities which are not directly involved in the creation and the delivery of the products but it can affect the efficiency of the processes. Strengths and weaknesses of a company can easily be identified from analyzing the value chain of a company. (Barney J., 1991)
Next Denmark has been focused on the clothing range, however internationally it has ventured into other areas as well. They have gone beyond the clothing market to home appliances and home furniture which have been extremely successful. In Denmark they have been reluctant to open retailing for furniture as they are yet not sure how the market will react. At the moment they are offering a wide range of clothing variety which is offering to different set of consumers. Following are the products that they are offering:
Shoes, Sandals and Boots
Hats and Accessories
Shoes, Sandals and Boots
Hats and Accessories
Shoes, Sandals and Boots
Shoes and Boots
Next has been globally following a cost leadership strategy and they have implemented the same strategy in Denmark as well. They have been able to maintain low prices due to efficient supply chain and have been able to reduce costs. The low costs have meant that they have been able to reduce the prices as well, in this way they have maintained good amount of profits despite of low prices. (Susannah Streeter, 2010)
For promotions Next relies heavily on Out Of Home (OOH) media as they spend heavily on streamers, billboards, LED screens, Gantries and pole signs. They have also heavily invested in digital forms of media as they have a strong digital presence…