Next adds to their ever increasing roster of brands: Joules, Gap, now Cath K. (And their wide digital and in store concessions business)
Next sounds like an IP licensing firm. Do they also operate these assets they acquire, or is that part outsourced?
Next very much operates the brands it acquires, with separate identities/locations/websites, but also some of the product being sold on the main Next website. Gap is an exception, doesn’t have standalone shops I think. Anecdotally, the brands are operated by separate teams and are not fully integrated for other functions.
Frasers (formerly Sports Direct) does much the same as Next, but I think is more fully integrated operationally.
Your description of an IP licensing firm would be more applicable to e.g. Authentic Brands Group (ABG), who owns amongst others, Reebok and Ted Baker