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How Joseph Hepworth & Son Became Next

Next is a British clothing company that has been around in some fashion for over a decade. The company was originally called Joseph Hepworth & Son; a tailoring company founded by the eponymous Hepsworth with James Rhodes as a collaborator in 1864. Joseph Hepworth was no stranger to working with clothing as he had left school at the age of ten to work as a cloth dresser in a local mill. His business partner at the time was his brother in law who by 1872 had moved onto different business ventures.

In 1878 Joseph Hepworth & Son would adjust in a direction more befitting to its namesake when Norris Hepworth became a partner in the business. Following this shift a more direct to consumer approach would be a factor in the company opening over 50 stores by 1850. The idea was to open stores outside of Britain as well. By the time it became a limited liability company in 1891 Joseph Hepworth & Son would have over 100 locations.

For most of its early existence the stores were known for their ready-to-wear suits however in 1961 they would open new stores under the influence of Saville Row designer Hardy Amies. The new locations were under the name “The Hardy Amies Tailoring Shop” and several of these re-branded stores opened in department stores by 1966.

In the 1980s Joseph Hepworth & Son would face yet another departure from its roots under the direction of Terence Conran and George Davies. In 1981 the company bought Kendall and Sons and acquired 600 new stores. In 1982 some of these stores were rebranded as a women’s wear outlet to compliment the main Hepworth stores called Next. The new brand caught on and by 1984 50 more stores were converted to the new Next brand. In addition to this a Next for Men brand was created in 1984 before most of the stores began to sell clothing for both genders. The new Next format became so popular that the Hepworth name fell from use and the stores became known only as Next.

Now Next is a retail business with over 500 locations in the United Kingdom and over 100 internationally. These days the stores sport a more modern design in comparison to its previous incarnations. In 2008 Next acquired the Lipsy brand and in 2009 opened an online store available to those in the United States. Next is online at their site and the Next contact number for customer service is
0333-777-8000. Currently they have a new collection featuring Emma Willis.