|Priority #:||1502 - Next plc|
|Parked Domain %:||100 %|
|Delegation:||04 May 2016|
The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:
"THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .NEXTDIRECT gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST AND CONFIDENCE THROUGH THE ELIMINATION OF USER CONFUSION AND ASSURANCE OF BRAND AUTHENTICITY.
The new .nextdirect gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which Next plc (Next) can create and control domain spaces that promote its brand’ identity and authenticity. In this regard, the .nextdirect gTLD will be used by Next to provide information, services and resources to consumers in a way that promotes trust, convenience and utility. The .nextdirect gTLD will provide an authoritative internet space for Next, its affiliates and partners that are associated with the brand. Second and third level domains can then be utilised for marketing, sales and communication purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
Next is a UK based retailer offering quality clothing, footwear, accessories and homewares. Next distributes its products through three main channels, a chain with more than 500 stores in the UK and Eire (Ireland), a home shopping catalogue and a website with nearly 3 million active customers. Next also operates an international division with more than 180 stores worldwide and a growing website capability in more than 45 countries. In this regard, customer trust, brand recognition and continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all of its business activities. Next direct is the home shopping branch of the Next business. 70% of Next’s home shopping business is now transacted online with over 2 million active direct customers in the UK. In this regard, innovation and trust in the online presence of Next is of paramount consideration in all business activities.
Business activities are increasingly conducted over the internet, allowing for greater levels of interaction between businesses and customers. As a result, both businesses and end users benefit from ease of interaction and a wider range of choices with lower transaction costs. However, the development in this arena in the current domain name system has exposed both businesses and consumers to increased criminal activities over the internet, including data breach, hacking and phishing. These sophisticated criminal activities cause reputational damage to businesses as internet users lose consumer confidence and trust with the businesses targeted by such criminal activities. The .nextdirect gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with Next online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction."