Newest Review: ... in the homeware department and in the last year or so I have managed to get a Next toaster and kettle (in a lovely burgundy colour) plu... more
One of the best shops on the high street
Member Name: cerys82
Advantages: Good variety of clothes and homeware
Disadvantages: Not the cheapest perhaps but the quality makes up for it
Next is a staple high street store. Specialising in clothes, the larger stores also have a homeware section. Products are also available through their two catalogues - clothing and homeware. The homeware one can be purchased instore for £2. Or you can fill in forms instore to have both delivered to your home on a seasonal basis for £2 each. Their products are also viewable and available to purchase on their website - www.next.co.uk.
Next really does have an excellent range of clothes for men, women as well as children.
In both the mens and womens section, they really come into their own when it comes to businesswear and it is always mine and my husbands port of call when looking for more formal workwear. The suits for both men and women are of excellent quality and have nice touches. The womens ones retail at roughly £100 for the whole suit but are available in a variety of different shades and styles with mix-and-match options of having a trouser suit or a skirt one. They fit nicely and often have little embellishments like pleats or other design features. The mens suits are also really impressive, they also have an excellent range of shirts including a new city-style range of superior quality material and refined details.
In recent years Next has expanded further into more casual everyday wear, however it all tends to be of good quality and still keep a hint of the details and, for women, the femininity of its other products. Their jeans range is particularly good. I have a lot of pairs of jeans myself and find the ones the I have from Next to be consistently the most wearable both in quality and style. They have perhaps the best range of reasonable prices and different styles on the high street in my opinion.
They also tend to have a really good range of shoes, nightwear and underwear/lingerie. The accessories are nice also, some of which are really Stirling silver. The watches deserve a particular mention. There is quite a wide variety and they are very classy looking and the look tends to belie the price.
They sell some 'working out' gear and have both good petite and tall ranges. Their trousers, in particular, tend to come in a variety of lengths.
They have also diversified slightly into aftershaves, perfumes and bath products. These tend to be available in gift sets near the till. They also have reasonably priced cards and wrapping paper.
The homeware sections, where available, are very impressive. Generally organised instore by colour and style, there is a really wide range of products available including picture frames, candle holders, ornaments, vases, kitchen and bathroom utensils and so on. It all tends to be quite stylish but of good quality. I would say that a lot of it is probably mid-range but it is definitely fashionable and compare very favourable to the likes of more established homeware stores such as Habitat.
The furniture/home furnishings are particularly worth a mention. There is a great selection of cushions and bed wear in a variety of different styles. However, these can be quite pricey - but that is what you have to pay for the quality and is still pretty comparable with the likes of Debenhams in all honesty.
A while back, having been impressed by what I had seen in the showrooms I ordered a couple of sofas from Next. The set came in at just under £1000 but we viewed it as an investment as it is a piece of furniture that we plan to have for a long time. There are a number of different styles available, including sofa beds and matching footstools with storage. The styles all vary in size and are available in 1 -3 seater forms. There is also a wide variety of material patterns available which err more on the netural side.
We ordered from instore by paying for part of it and having the rest on interest free credit for 2 years. The assistant was very helpful and ordering it was surprisingly quick and easy. There is a lead time of 6-8 weeks as each sofa is created individually to order. For this reason you will also be given a date after which you cannot cancel your order and get your money back.
In fact our sofa was with us after about 5-6 weeks. We were given a phone call and an estimated delivery date from which we could negotiate a suitable delivery time, which included weekends which was an added bonus for us as normally I have found that a lot of companies will only delivery furniture and equipment during the week. The delivery arrived within its estimated time, and the packaging was quickly and effectively removed by the delivery staff so it was immediately ready to use.
After now having it for a few months, I am really impressed with our sofas. They are really comfortable and look stylish and of good quality, we have had lots of compliments from people who have visited the house.
Something which Next is particularly famous for are their twice-yearly sales, typically one starting boxing day and one in mid-summer. There is no articulate way of saying this - they are carnage. Typically opening at any time from 5 am in the morning on the day of the sale it becomes competitive sales shopping at its most aggressive with people grabbing anything and everything in sight. Unlike some other high street sales, it does sell off recent stock. I have seen stuff that I have really liked at full price in the sale (whether it has still been available in my size by the time I get there is another issue). It is worth noting that the changing rooms are off limits during the initial days of the sale. As such, this means that a lot of people just buy as much stuff as they can only to bring it for refund in the following days. Because of this, I have always found the staff to be very helpful if there are any issues with the items or if you need a refund.
The homeware section is also involved in the sale but on a much smaller basis and you do not really see any of the pricier items such as furniture on offer. However, I have got some really stunning things like light fittings and vases at a really great price.
All, in all, I think that Next is one of the best stores on the high street. It does not have the funkiest fashions, that's what Topshop and New Look are for, but it is still by no means frumpy and has certainly diversified widely away from merely work wear over the years. The stores are usually presented really nicely, sleek and not cluttered with the clothes well displayed and racks easy to go through. Their clothes are of excellent quality, wash well and last for a long time and the homeware is stylish and serviceable.
Summary: One of my first points of call when clothes shopping