The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 2; Feeling Exclusive with Next

by T W Coombs

I receive a lot of emails as we all do, most of them are rubbish, 'come and try this', no, 'you want this', no I do not, so when I get the usual get twenty percent off something you bought once emails I just delete them after a quick check.  We all get these but for once I paid some attention to what I was getting so I received the third reminder to book my place at the online Next sale and I thought 'let's do this shit, you never know'.

Firstly I do not go to Next sales in store, this is due to the crowds, I enjoy shopping and I don't really mind crowds but together is not a pleasant experience, so I will always avoid the shop during the big sales.  But an online one I had never thought off and had just deleted the email whenever it would appear.  This time was different, my attitudes have changed slightly so I thought I may as well at the very least take a peek, and I am glad I did.

Apart from this being a sale which isn't that unusual, it was exclusive to customers of the online store, okay this is millions but bare with me here, and as online only there were extra discounts of fifty percent or more.  Half price is always a good term especially because it may be the summer clothes on sale but it isn't exactly cold out just yet is it?  But the big thing was it wasn't a blanket, dear Mr Coombs was used, why thank you, some respectful advertising, I like it.  The personal touch is always nice, and it wasn't just a huge "click me" banner, I had to read some text to find out what this sale was all about.  Then I picked the time I wanted my sale to begin, when I had free reign of the world before me, like having a store with only the shopkeeper to tell you what sizes they have in stock, with no other soul to annoy or steal from you.  If you ask me Next have upped their game a little with this gem.

I am not easily pleased and being invited to exclusive shopping is not new to me I once got invited to Thomas Pink as I had been a customer a couple of times, so went along and was instantly worried that I may actually have to buy another very expensive bit of clothing even with a slight discount.  I did buy something thankfully I had had a few glasses of champagne to numb the wallet pain when said purchase was made.  So I am not one to swoon because it is a personal invitation, but it did give me that feel of being one in a million even though it was more one in tens of millions at a guess but I felt exclusively invited to this event.  So bravo to the store, there marketing teams did well.

I did buy a couple of treats, a very nice pair of canvas shoes ready for the next bit of travel and a nice new suit jacket, blue textured with contrasting lining which also matches the pocket square that came with it.  It was a very nice £75 jacket which I got for £32, so it had to be done and they had my size.  I could have kept going but nothing else was in my size.  My delectable other half had a look over the women's section, thankfully only one skirt was bought, I know that opening up a sale and my account to the girlfriend may have not been the best of ideas, but I came out on top of this idea, so I am a happy man who earned some points.

So thank you to the store for helping spend money and give it to you and no one else.  The fact that this personal service is what I have got from Mr. Porter which they excel at, but from a large high street store is brilliant.

So to finish I received my items, I am happy, more importantly the girlfriend is happy (points to me) and Next have kept me as a loyal customer and I am looking forward to the next invite, I won't leave so long to book up next time, promise.