Product right for its customer and top service keep Next one step ahead of its rivals
- 37-43 Eastgate Street
Next is really pushing this season’s trends but has successfully interpreted them for its customer. For instance, the directional metal toe-cap court becomes a contrast fabric toe-cap court in metallic colours. Elsewhere there are studded heels and boots, with the studding used either as sprinkled embellishments or all-over designs, alongside the wedge trainer, florals, Chelsea boots, heeled courts and on-trend berry tones. Men get three versions of the desert boot, and chunky brown leather boots with an interesting contrast sole. Plimsolls and hi-tops get a heritage update.
Studded Western styles and a version of the key Acne-style boot are £70 – the quality of the leather makes this acceptable – while the most basic boots are great at £38. Heeled wedges are £45 while the toe-cap courts are excellent for £35. Men’s hi-top trainers are reasonable at £38, while a lovely brogue is £50 with a good level of quality. More trend-led suede desert boots with contrast soles are pushing it at £48, while a leather option with chunky contrast sole is £65, and the most basic formal styles start at £25; a great price architecture for the Next shopper.
Next offers the best customer service, with a greeter at the entrance offering directions to the footwear department. Inside, staff were helpful without being intrusive and were overheard offering a customer use of the Next Directory with free home delivery. Both men’s and women’s dedicated footwear areas are well thought out with boutique-style areas that are a pleasure to shop in.