Mulberry signs deal for store concessions at John Lewis
By LaToya Harding MULBERRY is seeking to rebuild its department store business after signing a deal to open concessions in John Lewis, having “learnt valuable lessons” from House of Fraser’s fall into administration, boss Thierry Andretta said.
The leather handbag and clothing company opened 18 new concessions and one digital concession with John Lewis last month, after being caught up in the turmoil that engulfed House of Fraser earlier this year. The department store chain collapsed into administration in the summer but was rescued by Sports Direct for £90m.
Mulberry took a £2.1m hit from the closure of three of its 21 House of Fraser concessions following the takeover. Mr Andretta said it was committed to continuing with House of Fraser, which accounted for 10pc of turnover earlier this year, but was confident the new department store contract with John Lewis would be managed better.
Mr Andretta said he was “well prepared” and had a “positive outlook” for the Christmas trading season.
The news came as the company blamed the challenging retail market and House of Fraser’s collapse for sinking to a pre-tax loss of £8.2m for the six months ending Sept 30. The retailer also took a further £2.5m bill from its launch in South Korea. Total revenue dropped 8pc to £68.3m, with UK retail sales falling 11pc over the period.
Its shares, which are down by 72pc since the start of the year, closed up 4.5pc yesterday at 330.5p.
Japanese music duo Amiaya at the brand’s autumn-winter event in Seoul. Mulberry took a £2.5m bill from its launch in South Korea