“Our aim is to redefine what can be achieved out of town, moving away from the traditional ‘shed’ format to architectural buildings that reflect the design aspirations of our product ranges,” the company said today. “To achieve this we are using high quality materials both inside and outside of the buildings.”
Next opened its first large store format in Shoreham in 2011, comprising a two-floor large Home store, attached to a conventional two-storey fashion store. Developing these bigger stores is the focus of the company’s development activity and will account for 70% of net new space this year.
Where newly acquired sites require the construction of a new building, the company says it will “use this as an opportunity to invest in the architecture and external appearance of our stores”.
The first out-of-town store designed and built by Next opened last month at Hedge End Retail Park in Southampton. Two more are opening in the next 12 months, in Maidstone and High Wycombe. A similar store is planned for Norwich in 2016 and several more are under negotiation with landlords and planners.