James Moore: Impressive Next leads the fashion pack


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The Independent Online

Outlook They say youth will have its day. Next adhered to that principle when it appointed Simon – now Lord – Wolfson as chief executive at the tender age of 33, a decision that has worked out rather well for the company.

Next clothes might not be cutting edge, but they don’t ever seem to be out of fashion either. And the sort of fashion howlers committed by M&S have been largely absent, as have the glossy, expensively put together celebrity TV ads.

One of the ads it did try, a few years ago, extolled the virtues of its timing. You wonder why Lord Wolfson bothered. Next always seems to be perfect, which is why it has avoided the privations that bedevil the rest of the retail industry.

What Next? More of the same, probably. Lord Wolfson might enjoy the sight of M&S in his rear-view mirror, but is the latter even a serious rival any more?