Flowering empire planting seeds for fresh venture
HE’S got a huge cider factory, a chain of luxury hotels, a gin bar and that little brand called Superdry – now Julian Dunkerton has snaffled up another business.
His wife, the designer Jade Holland Cooper, has joked he buys so many businesses she can’t keep up and it looks like he has been at it again with the latest project, a designer florists.
The Cheltenham entrepreneur is the co-owner of The Beautiful Flower Co, at his Dowdeswell Park development just outside Charlton Kings.
Run by experienced florist Jo Wood, the shop came about after she was appointed to provide flowers for the Superdry boss’ wedding.
She explained: “I did the personal flowers for Jade and Julian and dressed the marquee and on the basis of that Julian, as he does, had a business idea.
“He had this space and said it would be great for a flower shop and we went into partnership.”
Her other business Passion, based outside Bath, provides floral displays for the Soho House group and with 18 years experience in the industry she knows her flowers.
The shop also makes use of the terrace area outside with tables and chairs for a small coffee shop - a hint of what could be to yet to come as the Dowdeswell Park transformation continues.
“We do national and local delivery and obviously supply the Lucky Onion sites, she said.”
Jo hopes to start teaching classes at the shop and has the option to use the space for small dinner parties and events.
Alongside the flowers she also sells handpicked items including candles and dishes to create the perfect table dressing.
“This is my first retail project,” she explained. “I’ve not done a customer facing role before.
“I’ve learned a lot from Julian already and I will continue to learn. I know my flowers and obviously he knows the retail side.”
Superdry has announced pre-tax profits fell by more than 50 per cent in “a very disappointing set of results.”
Underlying profits before tax fell 56.8 per cent from £97m in 2018 to £41.9m.
The preliminary results, which cover the 52 weeks ending April 27 2019, show revenue remained consistent with the previous year, at £871.7m.
Founder and interim chief executive Julian Dunkerton, who returned to the company’s board in April, said he was confident things were being done right and his first priority upon returning was to ‘steady the ship.’
Happerley’s founder and chief executive Matthew Rymer with Adam Henson and Phil Vickery
Flower designer, Charlotte Harrison at The Beautiful Flower Company