NEXT purchases Cath Kidston in £8.5m buy out- industry reaction and predictions from retail expert


Following its 2022 purchase of struggling retailers and Joules, it has this week been announced that Next will purchase Cath Kidston from administrators, in a deal reportedly worth £8.5m. 

THE fashion brand, which collapsed in the midst of the COVID pandemic in 2020 and closed all of its UK based brick-and-mortar stores, had been hit by the decline in customer spending – driven by the ongoing cost of living crisis and rising prices in consumer goods. 

Commenting on the decision from Next to purchase the floral fashion brand, Nick Drewe, retail and trends expert at online discounts platform Wethrift, says: 

“The news that Next is to acquire the brand name, domain names and intellectual property of Cath Kidston, famous for its floral vintage home furnishings and patterned goods, will be a welcome news to lovers of the quintessentially British brand after its fall into administration.

“These iconic and eye-catching designs will, no doubt, be a focus of how Next plan to market ownership of the brand to its online and in-store customers during the coming years. 

“Having said that, one could argue that Cath Kidston has always been somewhat of a ‘marmite’ brand, in that consumers seemed to either love or loathe the bold designs so synonymous with the company. 

“It will be interesting to see how true to its originality and early successes the team at Next stay when launching their own collections, or if they decide to tone down the aesthetic in order to appeal to a wider range of their own customers. 

“Next will also, of course, need to be wary of the price points in its Cath Kidston ranges, especially as UK consumers continue to battle with the rising cost of living, and are attempting to cut back on unnecessary expenses in order to combat the increase in bills, groceries and interest rates. 

“What was once a hugely in-demand brand, which could be seen on adolescent and teenage girls in the form of plastic tote bags on high streets up and down the country, has arguably fallen out of fashion during recent years. Due to this, many will not have seen an investment in the higher end offerings as worth the steep price in recent years.

“That being said, Next customers, with a middle class demographic targeting the ages of 20-46, will be a good fit for reigniting customer loyalty in the once beloved brand. 

“These customers, who already carry a penchant for more luxury home furnishings and designs, are part of the previous generations who look back on wearing the brand 10+ years ago with nostalgia, and could well fall back in love with the 2023 reimagined version of Cath Kidston if Next do it right.”

The latest stories