Getting Mulberry back on track
4th Dec 2014
Photo credit: My-Retail Media
Mulberry sees sales fall 17% for H1, but “return to growth” in sight.
Luxury British brand Mulberry saw sales fall 17 per cent in the first half to 30 September, after a push to reposition the brand further upmarket backfired.
The retailer, who has been lauded in the past for its ability to create aspirational ‘It bags’ and accessories for both the British and international consumer, posted a loss of £1.1 million in its first half, compared to a pretax profit of £7.2 million a year before.
Sales fell 17 per cent with margins also down, as it looked to sell more of its lower-priced bags in order to win back customers initially put off by its new price points introduced by former chief executive Bruno Guillon.
UK retail sales, which make up 60 per cent of its overall sales, fell 16 per cent excluding online, as Mulberry found its full price stores saw a decline in footfall, especially with tourist shoppers, down 12 per cent.
International retail sales excluding online rose 20 per cent to £7.5 million, thanks to new stores, while online sales rose 1 per cent to £6.6 million, now representing 10 per cent of group sales.
Mulberry chairman Godfrey Davis, who has acted as chief executive during some of the company’s more turbulent times in the past year, said on Thursday that the lower-price adoption had already got off to an “encouraging” start, with total retail sales up 8 per cent in the nine weeks to 29 November on a like-for-like basis.
Davis added:“We have worked hard to re-engage with our customers and our tongue in cheek Christmas video #WinChristmas has been viewed well over one million times.
“After a difficult couple of years, the steps that we have taken to return Mulberry to growth are beginning to bear fruit and looking further forward, we expect to gain further momentum from the appointment of Johnny Coca as our new Creative Director."
Outside of some rollercoaster sales, Mulberry launched three new directly operated international stores since 30 September, in Dallas, Frankfurt and Paris, as well as introducing a Click & Collect service across full price standalone stores in the UK.
There was a time about two years ago, when Mulberry was regularly mentioned alongside Burberry as brands that could seemingly do no wrong. As shares closed at 780 pence on Wednesday, down 21 per cent on a year ago, the company may have some way to go before it is truly back on track.
UK shoppers will spend £470,000 a minute this Christmas
26th Nov 2014
New data released by IMRG and Experian indicates that Christmas 2014 could set new sales records for retailers in the UK.
Increased consumer confidence, both generally and in terms of delivery times, click-and-collect and widespread use of mobile technology when shopping has set the tone for several peaks for pre-Christmas trading.
Black Friday: UK falls for US retail sensation
21st Nov 2014
A research report was recently carried out by retail analysis brand EDITD on Black Friday – the most prolific shopping day of the year in America, and the event which is widely considered to demonstrate the beginning of the festive season.
Full steam ahead for Liberty
18th Nov 2014
Anyone that caught the first season of Channel 4’s Liberty of London will know the retailer has its own set of unique problems to contend with on a daily basis- not least the fact that the department store’s flagship Great Marlborough Street building is Grade II listed and originally acquired not as a high fashion, homeware and beauty emporium, but to meet the increasing demand for carpet and furniture founder Arthur Liberty had recognised in the Victorian retail market.
Christmas ad round-up 2014: which supermarket won the day?
13th Nov 2014
It's that time of year again! As Christmas creeps ever-closer, the biggest retailers in the UK are pulling out all the stops to ensure they end the year on a high note. Some of the businesses have had an incredibly difficult year, while others are merely putting the festive icing on top of a very profitable 2014 – but who rules the roost this Christmas?
China’s Singles Day set to become the biggest day for online retailing of all time
10th Nov 2014
The 11th November is expected to be the biggest day in online retailing history with more than USD 8.2 billion, (GBP 5.16 billion) forecast in spending through online channels. Never heard of Singles Day? You’re not alone- outside of China, the tradition for celebrating your single status is almost unheard of, but for unmarried and unattached Chinese consumers, 11th November holds a special significance in the social calendar.
Back where it all began: Barbara Hulanicki set for Biba reunion
5th Nov 2014
Iconic designer Barbara Hulanicki OBE this week announced she will return to her Biba brand, 50 years after founding the label that went on to encapsulate the joie de vivre of London in the 1960 and 1970s. Having acquired the rights to the Biba brand in 2009, House of Fraser has now enlisted Hulanicki as a consultant for Biba, which is the department store’s biggest-selling fashion label, according to a report by the Sunday Times.
Retail Technology: The Future
31st Oct 2014
The key to successful selling for any retailer is simply understanding one's customers – what it is they want and how best to provide them with it. One of the most common research modes is data collection, which raises the question of how best to analyse enormous amounts of information.
Food retailers have to adapt or risk collapse, report finds
29th Oct 2014
Ernst & Young (EY) published a report this week on profit warnings issued by UK-listed companies in the third quarter of 2014. The headline fact in the report was undoubtedly that this quarter saw the most profit warnings issued in the period since 2008. Food retailing played something of a starring role in the report, with 15 per cent of FTSE Food & Drug retailers issuing warnings.
EY commented in their highlights that, “the pace of structural change in the UK economy is epitomised by food retailing, currently in the midst of a generational shift in spending patterns.”
Retailers in for a sweet deal this Halloween
27th Oct 2014
It’s the holiday that just keeps giving, as retailers gear up for a £330 million boost from Halloween sales this week.
Despite being a traditionally North American affair, it seems the British consumer’s appetite for trick or treating, fancy dress and pumpkin carving is still far from satisfied, as this year’s Halloween sales are expected to be among the biggest ever seen. The All Hallows’ Eve date is now the second largest retail festival in the UK after Christmas, with demand for pumpkins (a useful bellwether for the scary delights of 31st October) up 35 per cent this year, with 95 per cent expected to be carved into lanterns and just 5 per cent used for soups and stews.