// Next plans to transform into the Ocado of fashion
// The retailer’s CEO Lord Wolfson is seeking to develop a new revenue stream
// The fashion retailer already has a £2 billion online business
Next has reportedly revealed plans to become the Ocado of fashion after extending its online platform to host smaller brands.
The fashion retailer currently has a £2 billion online business and is using its advantage of logistics, customer databases and warehouses to launch a “total platform” business to become more like an Ocado for fashion rather than a high street chain.
Next chief executive Lord Wolfson is seeking to develop a new revenue stream by using Next’s assets to provide a full service for smaller fashion brands to sell and distribute products online, The Times reported.
The news comes after Next bought a 25 per cent stake in upmarket fashion brand Reiss last week.
At the moment, Next’s platform has only Childsplay, a designer childrenswear retailer, but it has set up a pay-as-you go model for more brands to use the service with a fixed commission.
Wolfson said this takes some of the risk out for a new, younger brand that might make the occasional blooper with a season’s collection.
The development of the platform is similar to online grocer Ocado’s journey from an online grocery retailer into a technology business.
Wolfson said it will take time for the platform to “deliver meaningful profit” but didn’t think there was “any comparable offer in terms of total service on offer”.
Next owns the UK licence for Victoria’s Secret and was a frontrunner to buy Topshop out of administration in a joint bid with Authentic Brands of the US.