Topic Chosen and Its context
This research and analysis report explores the impact of e-business on the strategic planning of Next Retail plc. This investigation focuses on the company's growing its business, its operational and financial performance, and the use of e-business in achieving national domination, global expansion and to be able to complete in business world.
The objective of the research is to determine the advantages of e-business to the achievement of Next Retail Plc's strategic objective, and sustainability and to the continuous existence of Next plc as a going concern business, and maintaining its position as a leader in fashion world. The impact of the e-business on the smooth running of the company operations, and its disadvantages to Next Retail plc will also be considered.
Purpose for the topic
My ACCA studies and work experience have increased my interest in Next Retail plc and particular interest in the company's use of e-business in achieving its' plans to develop into a top brand name and become one of largest online fashion retailers. The company will thereby be in a position to cope with competitors on the high street and also with online store like www.asos.com , www.rarefashion.co.uk , www.oli.co.uk, www.bunnyhug.co.uk, www.marksandspencer.com, And the ability to expand to increase the global sales and domestic market share
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The selection of topic of E-business can be attributed to the fact that the Internet has played an important role in retail industry in the UK, contributing over £30b in retail sales in 2009, and retail sales fall by -0.7%. (Office of national statistics)
The choice of Next Retail Plc is based on the company's position as one the leading online fashion retailers in the world and among the top ten online retailers in the UK which enables them to complete favourably in fashion retail and non fashion retail.
My interest in the company has also been aroused by its recent expansion to various markets in the world including Asia, Europe and America, its ability to cope during the global financial crisis and maintain its position in the UK retail market and remain in a position to compete with non fashion retail like Argos, play.com.
According to Next (2008) the online business has made significant progress over the last few years achieveing a 2.1% increase in sales and 1.9% increase in the average number of active customers and an 8.4% increase.
Overview on Next Retail Plc and e-business
In 1864,J.Hepworth and Son was founded, and in 1981 Hepworth bought the chain of Kendall's rainwear shop to develop the womenwear store Next PLC which opened on 12th February 1982 and menswear's was introduce in August 1984. In August 1985, Next plc launched the interiors range of soft furnishings for home.
Hepworth's growth during 1864 and 1981 was organic through acquisitions of Kendall chains and in 1986,Grattan plc a mail order company was formed and the company decide to change its name to Next plc.
Next is a UK based retailer offering stylish, good quality clothing items, footwear, accessories and home products. Next distributes through three main channels: Next Retail, a chain of more than 500 stores in the UK and Eire; the Next Directory, a direct mail catalogue and transactional website with more than 2 million active customers; and Next International, with more than 170 stores overseas.
Other businesses in the Next group include:
- Next Sourcing, which designs, sources and buys Next branded products; and
- Ventura, which provides customer services management to clients wishing to outsource their customer contact administration and fulfilment activities
- Other business(property management)
In January 1988 Next plc recognised the importance of e-business and its advantages by launching the Next directory which now includes over 1200 pages from the 350 pages on introduction and in 1999 launched the online shopping website www.next.co.uk, which was the first in the United Kingdom at the time of introduction.
Next announces brand strategy of "One Brand Two Ways of Shopping", bringing together the common ranges across both retail and home shopping formats.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Over the years Next Plc has been the leader in innovation and quality to improve fashion retailing service, by constantly introducing new additional pages and product areas, also set up a new in-house delivery service to deliver large Home items with the ability to deliver at weekends. As well as placing orders, customers are able to check their accounts and make payments online
The introduction of the e-business/directory enables to focus on other areas and help to achieve the primary financial objectives of the organisation to deliver sustainable long term growth in earnings per share (EPS), also provides a platform to compete globally and retain its domestic market share.
The aim of the research is to determine the contribution of e-business in achieving the primary objective of Next Retail plc. This will be done by collecting financial information from year ending January 2005 to January 2009 for financial and performance analysis to ascertain the impact on earnings per share which is the main indicator used when maximising shareholder wealth. Additionally, the research will also evaluate the increase in average income per online order/customer, the increase in customer number over the years, the satisfactory level of the customer and other critical success factors.
For the purpose of analyzing the financial performance of Next retail plc, this report will use:
This is the analysis of financial statements based on the comparison of consecutive balance sheets and income statement, reviewing the changes on a year to year basis or over the years. This will help identify the trend of the elements over time helping to recognise the direction and intensity of trends and assisting in forecasting what the pattern of future movements will be over time.
Application of business analysis tools such as PESTEL, Porter five forces and SWOT analysis will be conducted in order to draw conclusions on the impact of e-business
The research conducted has used secondary data collected through desk research in an attempt to save costs and time involved in collecting primary data. I did not have the resources to collect the primary data required for the purposes of this research and it would not have been possible for me to conduct primary research in a way that would take into account of the historic developments that are necessary to recognize the impact of E-business on Next Retail Plc. Although the reliability and validity of secondary data would been established by the person who collected it initially, when reusing the data, I have had to ensure that the original source was reliable and that data is up to date and timely.
In evaluating the credibility of the source from which the secondary data was obtained, the following issues have been considered:
- The original researcher's objectives in collecting the data.
- The time the data was collected.
- The consistency of the data with data I obtained from other sources
The specific limitations of collecting data from different sources is discussed later.
SOURCES USED AND REASON FOR THEIR USE
Information was gathered from several sources in compiling this research. These sources and the reasons I chose to use them are as follows:
Annual Report of Next Retail Plc
The annual reports provided me with detailed annual results from which the key ratios were calculated and the financial performance was assessed. The annual accounts from 2005 to 2009 were analysed to show the progress of the company over the period under review.
Newspapers and Magazines
Commentaries and articles written in newspapers and magazines provided me with up to date information on matters arising and significant events impacting the retail sector in the United Kingdom. Articles from The Financial Times, City AM and The Guardian. Online journals like business 2.0 of CNN money and Harvard Business Review, ACCA student accountant magazines also formed an important part of the research.
Kaplan Financial Textbooks
The Kaplan Financial Textbooks for papers F5, F7 and F9 namely Performance Management, Financial Reporting and Financial Management respectively were part of my general background reading.
Next retail Website
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This website gave me majority of the company specific information that I required to carry out an in-depth analysis and obtain an overview of the company.
The website was use to understand the impact of Tesco Plc developing into number one e-grocery store and expanding across the world, also surviving the competition provided by other grocery stores.
The website was used to understand how predominately online retailers do well during the economic recession, and the impact of e-business in changing the face of the traditional shopping.
Going through some website of different airlines including British airways, easy jet, KLM air France make me understand how traditional businesses are changing and making transacting easier for the customer.
These websites were use to understand options that are available for customers and the power potential customers have.
Methods used to gather information
The internet provided me with a variety of information on the subject matter and the industry. As the world becomes a global business place and information technology plays a major part in this, companies place a considerable amount of information on the Internet to be explored by investors as well as other interested parties.
Through the Internet I was able to have access to company websites, educational websites as well as other information and academic publications online.
Exploring websites such as Financial Times, BBC Business News, The office of national statistics, online sales conversion and search optimisation services, www.isos.com.my; www.ebusiness-watch.org; www.europa.eu; and The Guardian.
Library research was an important part of collecting the information required. It involved searching for general information and statistics on the retail industry as well as specific information on Next Retail Plc. Library research included scrutinising newspaper articles, journals, and magazines, with details of the company's activities as well as that of its competitors.
The information I was able to gather gave me the know-how and permitted me to obtain an in-depth analysis.
The British Library and Ealing Library was visited and vital information was accessed at these locations.
Internet and the web are useful information sources due to the fact that they provide large volume of information which is regularly updated. Information collected and knowledge obtained from this source is rich in content and timely. This has made it possible for me to gather and collect information at anytime and at any place to obtain recent relevant information that would otherwise have been difficult to gather within the time limit.
However, there are significant limitations to the uses to electronic gathering of information; some of these limitations are listed below.
During the process of gathering information from the search engines, a significant amount of the results were found to be outdated. This was due to pace of changes within the industry that made the information outdated. This problem was resolved by looking at the patterns and trend to forecast the future development and the time factors involved. The economic situation at the period was also considered.
Limited Availability of Data
Companies reluctantly provide detailed information online in order to protect themselves from competitors. This made the availability of information for the research inadequate.
The information had to be carefully validated and a lot of hours were spent in order to vet the data in order to ensure that it was useful, current and adequately detailed. This led to me changing the choice of company from Tesco Plc. Detailed information about online trading for Tesco Plc was not easily disclosed and could not be gathered from other sources. This helped me obtain a more detailed picture how the e-business contributed to sustaining corporate strategies.
The validity of the project research is based on the accuracy and quality of information used, as many website provide information which is not always reliable. Third party information may contain incorrect and irrelevant information.
The online sales figure was not specifically disclosed, this provided a challenge as to how to determine figures generated by e-business. This limitation was overcome by identifying reliable sources related to the research topic and cross checking with various sources to validate its accuracy. This involved a lot of effort in filtering the information, in order to source useful information, even though the information available on internet was rich and recent.
Even though library research provides focus, and papers that could be work on are available, it was difficult to determine the result of impact of e-business by just reading theories without the application and experiences. An opportunity to obtain first hand experience and apply the knowledge or theories first hand would have been beneficial in evaluating the precise impact of E-business on Next Retail Plc.
According to Mason (1986), the ethical issues that affect information gathering include privacy, accuracy, property, accessibility.
The objective of providing information on the website is to divulge the company information and performance to the public. In interest of privacy this information would have been vetted to determine the degree of restriction on information to prevent threat from competitors. This could lead to an unbalanced opinion and bias in information. This could mislead the user of the information, and adversely impact research work.
The accuracy of the information presented on the website could not be definitely ascertained as being reliable or free from error due to the fact that the information presented by the company could not be cross checked with other sources except by knowledge gap research.
The information is the intellectual property rights of the company, and has the right to prevent the usage and distribution even though they made available to the public, but copyright allows its use for educational and archival purposes, and this research is education research and was given the right to use it.
ANALYSIS THROUGH ACCOUNTING TECHNIQUES
Next Plc distributes through three main channels: Next Retail, a chain of more than 500 stores in the UK and Eire; the Next Directory, a direct mail catalogue and transactional website with more than 2 million active customers; and Next International, with more than 170 stores overseas. According to Next (2008), the directory business provides the company with a strong base from which to develop their product offerings.
Next Retail Plc generate revenues in six areas, the traditional retail and the directory, the decrease in both revenues is due to the economic meltdown that has affected all retailers across the world and the directory revenue has average growth 6.42% over four years.
The year 2008/2009 was a difficult year and the reduction in the growth of contribution to the total brand revenue, compare to 13.7% in 2005/2006 and 13.1% in 2006/2007, also 3.3% in 2007/2008.
The growth in the directory revenue over the five years could be attributed to increase in number of pages and new range of product made available on the directory, which give choice for the customers.
The pages increased by 8.4%, due to the fact that customers had more options, new design and the company started providing credit facilities for customers.
The operating profit fell by 10.95% between 2008 (£537.1m) to 2009 (£478.3m) which could be link to economical situation, from 2005 - 2008 there has been constant growth of operating profit by 6.67%.
Next's Corporate Objective and Business strategies.
Next retail plc, primary financial objective is to deliver long term sustainable growth in earning per share, one of business strategies is the introduction of e-business to reach wider population and expand overseas, improving and developing next product ranges, improving gross and net margins cost control and efficient stock level and working capital, and purchasing shares for cancellation it is earning enhancing and in the interest of the shareholders.
Earnings Per shares
Earnings per share, the primary financial measure fell by 7.5% to 156p. The basic earnings per share is based on £302.4m (2008: £354.1m) being the profit for the year attributable to equity holders of the parent company and 193.8m ordinary shares.
With the directory contributing 32.95% to the profit, 32.95% of the EPS is been made from the directory, which is more significant when considering that the remaining 67.05% was from five segments of the business.
The EPS on average grew from 2005 to 2008 by 12%, showing consistent growth and achieving the primary financial measure of good performance, except for the year ending January 2009 due to the recession. The half year results 2009/2010 show an increase of 7.6% in which EPS rise to 68.2p in July 2009 compared with 63.4p in July 2008 and an increase of 6.25% in directory profit (July 2009-£83.3m-July 2008-£78.4m).
Improving and developing Next product ranges, success in which is reflected in total sales and like for like sales performance, the directory help to received reviewed from customers and needs, also help to present various products electronically to the world. Therefore, a significant impact of E-business on Next Plc has been in the area of product innovation. This has resulted in increased revenues for directory sales. The number of new products has been determined by the increase number of directory pages, which have increase by 8.4% in January 2009 and 16.5% in January 2008.
This was due to the effort of next sourcing (NSL) which next overseas sourcing business with operations in several countries, the largest two being China (including Hong Kong) and Sri Lanka.
The selling space increased trading space by 305,000 square feet in the full year (Is this E-business?? ) increasing our portfolio to 510 stores. The payback on the net capital invested in new space is forecast to be 19 months. The net store contribution is forecast to be 17%. These results are comfortably ahead of our financial hurdles of 24 months payback and 15% contribution.
The retail store increasing by 1.6% and square feet by 5.8% in year ending 2009 compare with 4.8% in stores number and 7.8% in square feet.
Customer shopping and spending online
According to Next (2009), directory sales continue to grow despite the economic environment. The resilience of the Directory sales is mainly as a result of continued growth in the use of the internet and the continued expansion of new product categories.
The provision of credit on Next Directory accounts may also be providing an advantage in the current consumer environment.
Next (2009) states that sales increased by 2.1%. Growth was achieved through a 1.9% increase in the average number of active customers and an 8.4% increase in pages. The majority of the additional pages went to new and developing product areas.
The average spending per customer was up by 0.3% for 2009 figures compare with 2007/08 of 1.9% increase.
The Office of National Statistics states that the increase in online spending and number of online customer could be attributed to constant increase in internet access to household in the UK increase to 70% in 2009 This is a graph showing Households with access to the Internet, UK
18.3 million Households in the UK (70 per cent) had Internet access in 2009. This is an increase of just under 2 million households (11 per cent) over the last year and 4 million households (28 per cent) since 2006. UK estimates are not available prior to 2006.
The region with the highest level of access was London, with 80 per cent. The region with the lowest access level was Scotland, with 62 per cent.
Sixty-three per cent of all UK households had a broadband connection in 2009, up from 56 per cent in 2008. Of those households with Internet access, 90 per cent had a broadband connection in 2009, an increase from 69 per cent in 2006.
In 2009, 37.4 million adults (76 per cent of the UK adult population) accessed the Internet in the three months prior to interview. The number of adults who had never accessed the Internet fell to 10.2 million, (21 per cent) in 2009.
Sixty four per cent of all adults who were recent Internet users (having accessed the Internet in the three months prior to interview) had ever purchased goods or services over the Internet in 2009. Of these, 83 per cent (26 million) had purchased within the last three months.
Also the average age of UK Internet users has risen from 35.7 to 37.9 years in the year from October 2006-2007, according to Nielsen Online.
At the same time, the share of the UK Internet population made up by less than 25 year-olds has decreased from 29% to 25%, while the share of 55+ year-olds increased from 16% to 19%.
Cost and stock control
E-business has permitted Next Plc to lower its distribution costs.
According to Next (2009), another impact of E-business has been that the firm jhas been able to integrate its activities with that of suppliers in the form of e-invoicing and disclosing to its suppliers information about its inventory levels online.
The company processes a substantial volume of data and conducts inventory management accurately and quickly. Therefore, the Group expects that its systems will require continuous enhancements and ongoing investment to prevent obsolescence and maintain responsiveness to business needs. Back up facilities and business continuity plans are in place and are tested regularly to ensure that business interruptions are minimised and data is protected from corruption or unauthorised access or use
Next plc invested in computerised stock control systems that are more flexible and make information easier to retrieve. The company is able to quickly obtain a stock valuation or find out how well a particular item of stock is moving.
The stock data and pricing data was integrated with accounting and invoicing systems. All the systems draw on the same set of data, so you only have to input the data once. Sales Order Processing and Purchase Order Processing can be integrated in the system so that stock balances and statistics are automatically updated as orders are processed.
The information technology in respect of stock control system automatically monitors stock, and initiates a new order when the re-order level is reached.
E-commerce has impacted supply chain management, through the use of bar coding systems which speed up processing and recording.
Next retail Plc invested in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which helps to identify individual products and components, and to track them throughout the supply chain from production to point-of-sale. This helps to provide continuous inventory control.
Next uses RFID tagging for stock control with other methods such as barcodes which gives advantages to the process of stock control and security:
- Tags and barcode help to read the product remotely
- Several tag or barcode help to read once, enabling an entire pallet or boxes-load of products to be checked simultaneously
- Tags and barcodes are given unique identification codes, so that individual products can be tracked
- Certain types of tag can be overwritten, enabling information about items to be updated, e.g. when they are moved from warehouse to the store and from one store to another.
- Tag and barcode help prevent over-stocking or under-stocking a product or component
- And for stock security, by positioning tag-readers at points of high risk, such as exits, and causing them to trigger alarms
- This also enables individual products or components to be tracked throughout the supply chain.
- This also enables each store to monitor stock level in other store in case they run out of stocks.
ANALYSIS THROUGH BUSINESS TECHNIQUES
The business techniques of PESTEL and SWOT analysis will used to analyse and recognise which internal and external factors influence the strategy of Next Plc. This will involve an analysis of environmental factors that influence the corporate startegy.
- The effect of continuous increase in labour costs in the UK.
- Political stability in which companies feel safe to conduct long term planning.
- The UK government has planned investment in technology through ''Digital Britain'' . The amount is estimated to be more than £50 billion a year. The digital network economy is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. This will have positive impact of online shopping in the UK and a retailers like NEXT plc.
- Increase in unemployment rate and reduction in disposable income has over the past years reduced the consumer buying power and spending.
- Temporary reduction in VAT rate to push the economy and help both the shopper and the retailers.
- Due to the recession, availability of credit facilities has been reduced making business to business transaction difficult.
- Increased bad debts due to the recession and increased unemployment. This would result in retailers such as Next employing stricter criteria for extending credit to new customers on the internet.
- The UK population is projected to increase by 4.3 million by 2018. This increase is equivalent to an average annual rate of growth of 0.7 per cent and UK population expected to hit 65million in 2018.
- Increase in the age of internet users in the UK.
- Cultural factors including the perception of risk associated with online purchases.
- As a response to the old fashioned mail order catalogue, online shopping becomes more and more popular among consumers. NEXT Plc has paved the way for other companies since its online store is quite successful with more than 2 million active users and a significant part of the company's revenues. On line shopping is also expected to show signs of robust growth for products other than clothing. On the other hand, although technology makes it possible for people to buy their clothes from the comfort of their own house, it does not comprise a substitute to the actual experience of going out and buying the clothes yourself. Especially as far as clothes are concerned customers like to try them on before they buy them and no online store can offer them that. (Marciniak 2004)
- Web 2.0 becoming enterprise 2.1
- Better facilities for data gathering and protection, marketing research for sensational strategy and experiential strategy in brand marketing NEXT
- It is common for clothing manufacturers to find themselves in the target of several organizations dealing with human rights, labour laws, and the use of certain chemicals.
- Consumers concern about matters of social responsibility and ethical responsibility from the companies. NEXT has not been associated with any scandals concerning either ethical or environmental concerns. According to the "Clean up Fashion" initiative, NEXT scores higher than most of its competitors in many areas of concern and the company is acting proactively and taking part in the dialogue for these matters. (CleanUpFashion)
Rules and regulations regarding the code of conduct, advertising laws and rights have to be considered and conformed to.
- Health and safety rule in the UK
- Immigration rules about employing foreign labour.
Porter's Five Forces
- Competitive rivalry is very high in the clothing retailers' market in the UK. NEXT faces strong competition from Marks &Spencer, Debenhams and H&M which both refer to the same target group as NEXT. Moreover NEXT also faces competition both from companies that offer cheaper products like Primark, George (ASDA), Tesco and companies that offer more expensive lines such as French Connection and Monsoon. (Keynote, 2004)
- The development of emerging competitors like ASOS, Gap from the United States of America into the high street in the UK with new introduction of children designer ranges which is a predominately NEXT plc's strength.
- NEXT holds a very strong position as long as online shopping and catalogue orders are concerned. The NEXT Directory division faces competition from the same sources as the retail stores but it is very well placed in the market.
- Foreign retailers like Zara and Mango have managed to establish themselves among British customers and the UK retailers now face even stronger competition. (Datamonitor)
- The customers' patronize more respected and recognized brand such as Prada and Gap means that retailers like NEXT face strong competition.
Threat of New Entrants
Threat of new entrants is low due to the high barriers to entry. The barriers to entry include:
- The competition in the clothing retailers market is quite fierce; therefore the costs in order to enter in such a market are very high as well.
- The market is fragmented with a great number of local as well as international retailers. Existing retailers especially in the premium range become more and more established and it is therefore more difficult for a new brand or retailer to establish itself.
- Entry barriers are also created by economies of scale. In the clothing retailers market a company must be able to have a large production volume in order to take advantage of the economies of scale. This makes it much more difficult for new entrants to establish themselves.
- Barriers to entry are also created by the high cost involved in building a core customer base.
Threat of Substitutes
- The threat of substitutes is low and even though fashions alter, clothing is a necessity. Clothing manufacturers and retailers do not face significant threats from possible substitutes for any foreseeable future.
- Buyer power is very high in the clothing industry since most companies offer their products at more or less similar prices. Thus the success of every product depends on the marketing strategy of each company. Aggressive marketing leads to the increased sales volume.
- It is crucial for the companies that conduct business within the clothing industry to maintain their customers' loyalty. fashions and trends change it becomes difficult for companies to retain their customers.
- A large proportion of the market, Menswear, has not reached its full potential. While most young men have the buying power, do not seem to enjoy the shopping experience. This is why Womenswear remains the biggest segment of the market. (Euromonitor)
- The availability of comparative web sites provide consumers with more than one option of stores to chose from and the ability to browse through the world of fashion within a minutes to determine the best price and quality, with the availability of more brand names online.
The bargaining power of Next PLc's,Supplier bargaining power is low because there are many small suppliers and the costs associated with switching suppliers is not very high due to Business to Business exchanges.
Doole and Lowe (2008) state that there are six distinctive characteristics of the Internet that affect marketing communications. These are known as the 6I's of E-business.
- Competitive pricing is a vital element of NEXT overall success, as this keeps them in line with their rivals.
- Keeping costs lower than their competitors and keeping the cost advantages helps NEXT pass on some of the benefits consumers.
- NEXT has an extensive online customer base, which is a major strength regarding sales and profit.
- Strong brand is essential strength of NEXT
- The increase in performance of international operations gives a wider customer base, a stronger brand, and increase in global market share.
- Although the company has expanded abroad, the vast majority of its revenues come from operations within the UK. The group relies heavily on the UK market and is vulnerable to future developments and trends regarding the UK. (Data monitor)
- NEXT will benefit from the continuous growth of on-line customers in the UK, especially since its on-line store is performing well and it has now become quite established among consumers.
- NEXT could benefit from expanding their online presence and making more sales form online sale from internet users, aiming to social network.
- Rising competition on both sides of the price band where NEXT operates might prove to be a problem in the future. (Datamonitor)
- Rising labour costs in the UK could affect NEXT as it would eat into profit.
- The fluctuations in the home currency, due to government policy and recession which result in fall in value created reduction in bargaining power reduce and less stock importing and exporting.
- Increase in online fraud and identity theft; make online security a great concern for both the company's and customers.
- Economic slowdown could have a major impact on NEXT business and profit.
Problem associated with e-business.
- Restrictions on Growth-Mergers and
- Monopoly commission,
- Consumer Resentment,
- Culture differences,
- Data Security,
- Set up and running cost,
- Time to set up system,
- Suppliers and Customers not interested,
- No in-house skill.
- Supplier chain/product flow management,
- Develop Customer Loyalty,
- Global Expansion,
- Product market matrix,
- Developing data warehousing,
- Social demographics,
- Customer relationship management
- Customer service management,
- Production development and commercialization,
- Performance measurement,
- Other sources of income (advertising),
- Improves External and Internal Communications
The impact of E-business on Next Plc is that the company's profitability, operating efficiency and effectiveness in terms of communication and distribution channels have increased. Operating costs have reduced and E-business has permitted the company increased market penetration because the firm has been able to provide enhanced customer satisfaction. E-business has been incorporated into the areas of procurement and customer relationship management.
- Chaffey, D. (2007). E-business and E-commerce management Essex : Pearson Education
- Cleanupfashion (NEXT Plc). www.cleanupfashion.co.uk
- Doole, I and Lowe, R. (2008) International Marketing StrategyAnalysis, Development and Implementation: Cengage, South Western
- Euromonitor (NEXT Plc)-www.euromonitor.com.
- FEDEE (2006) National Labour News, www.FEDEE.com.
- Hoovers (NEXT Plc)-www.hoovers.com.
- Keynote (2004) UK clothing Retailers market, www.keynote.com;
- Lynch, R. (2006), Corporate Strategy London: Financial Times/Prentice-Hall.
- Market line (2006) NEXT www.datamonitor.com.
- Marciniak R. (2004). Identification of UK fashion retailer web site use, www.emeraldinsight.com
- Mason, R. (1986), Four ethical issues of the information age, Management Information Systems Quarterly, Vol. 10 No.1, pp.5-12
- Next Plc (2009) Company history, http://next.co.uk/
- Next plc (2009) Corporate Responsibility Report http://next.co.uk/
- Next plc (2009) Corporate Governance, http://next.co.uk/
- Snapdata (2008) UK Retailers, www.snapdata.com
- Office of National Statistics, http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?ID=8
- ASA, No FCUK posters without advice, www.asa.org.uk
- Business link http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?topicId=1074039371;
- Experience working for Next plc, Bluewater shopping centre, UK and Royal mail UK.