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Next Directory -
a major influence on High Streets throughout the UK since 1982

Women at Next Directory

The NEXT retail chain launched in 1982 and ever since has been a major influence on shaping the future of fashion retailing.

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NEXT Directory, the ground-breaking mail order operation, launched in 1988 with a hardback book containing 350 pages, creating the blueprint for catalogue retailing. There are over 1300 pages in the Spring/Summer 2008 book offering extensive collections for women, men, children and everything for the home.

Online shopping was launched in 1999 and the entire catalogue is available to shop from on the internet, page by page - another first in Home Shopping in the UK.

The History of NEXT and the NEXT DIRECTORY in the 1990's
  • 1990 - Lord Wolfson of Sunningdale became Chairman of NEXT plc.

  • 1991 - Sale of Grattan to Otto Versand.

  • 1993 - NEXT announces brand strategy of 'One Brand Two Ways of Shopping', bringing together the common ranges across both retail and home shopping formats.

  • 1994 - NEXT now trading from 300 stores in 16 countries worldwide.

  • 1995 - Successful relaunch of NEXT for the Home.

  • 1998 - Sir Brian Pitman appointed as Chairman.

  • 1999 - Launch of shopping on the internet from the NEXT DIRECTORY at

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What was happening in the UK in the 1990's?

Two bombs exploded in the centre of Manchester injuring 65 people. The first device was in a car parked in the heart of the city's commercial district, and the second, which caused the majority of injuries, was near the city's Anglican cathedral. A bomb exploded at 08.40 , seven minutes before two warning calls were received.

In 1994, Tony Blair becomes leader of the British Labour Party and begins the "New Labour" project moving the party to the centre of British politics, which in 1997 ends 18 years of government by the Conservative party in a landslide election victory.

A lone gunman went on a shooting spree at a school in Dunblane, Scotland, killing 16 children and their teacher. The first convoy of American combat troops entered Northern Bosnia to try to keep the peace between Bosnian Serbs and Muslims, following the signing of the Dayton peace plan.

Dolly the sheep was the first mammal to be cloned. Mad Cow disease otherwise known as BSE dominated the news and Ebay was born.

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Video games become more advanced and popular. Rivals Nintendo and Sega dominate the early 1990s. The Sony Play Station and Nintendo 64 would later dominate the late 1990s and remain popular beyond 1999. Once beyond the reach of most mortals, mobiles really took off in 1996, becoming fashion accessories for all. Although pre-pay vouchers were still around the corner, the cost of monthly subscriptions was finally within most people's grasp. The phones were bulky, there was no SMS, and reception wasn't brilliant - but at least now you could call a taxi from the pub without having to take out a second mortgage.

The world wide web and HTML are created by Tim Berners Lee. The Pentium Processor was developed by Intel and there was explosive growth in the Internet.

The average price of a house in the mid nineties was 68,000. Whilst sitting in your house watching TV, you may have joined thousands of other women swooning over Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, or maybe This Life was your favourite. Patsy and Edina made us laugh in Ab Fab and Ant and Dec started their rise to stardom on Byker Grove.

This was also the era of Girl Power and the Spice girls, when Victoria Beckham was just 'posh spice' alonside Baby, Scary and Sporty.

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Fashion in the 90's

In 1992 the Next Directory had 375 pages of womens, mens and childrens fashions. Wider shoulders and mannish tailoring were still around in the early nineties, trousers were high waisted and jodhpur styles gained popularity. This was also the era of the 'body' and leggings, worn with a loose fitting shirt. Lycra made clothing more comfortable and neon colours were everywhere.

Thongs became popular, no more VPL, unless you wanted to show your pants, this trend became popular after a Calvin Klein TV ad showed model Mark Wahlberg showing his Calvins boxers under low slung jeans. As the decade progressed, shoulder pads dissapeared, layering, texture and velvet came forward. Next continued to offer stylish contemporary fashion.

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Go to Next Directory at to get more information regarding the Next catalogue website and this site also reviews all the home shopping mail order catalogue websites available in the UK.
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