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Opportunities aplenty for standalone Karen Millen


There are “plenty of opportunities” for womenswear retailer Karen Millen to expand internationally now it has separated from parent company Aurora Fashions, according to Verdict Research’s Senior Retail Analyst Sarah Peters.

Splitting from Aurora could also free the company up for a possible sale or further investment later down the line, the analyst said.

Peters told Retail Gazette: “It is a very attractive brand, given the success it has had internationally and there are still plenty of opportunities for it to expand globally.

“Aurora has some very well-established brands and has a strong position in the UK clothing market.

“The splitting out of Karen Millen will allow the Aurora Fashions management team to focus on the remaining brands - Oasis, Coast and Warehouse.”

Aurora announced the separation plans earlier this week, but revealed that the other brands will continue to remain under its jurisdiction.

The move comes after Aurora outsourced its IT operations to Retail Assist and restructured its senior management team at the end of 2010, as part of wide scale changes at the organisation.

Karen Millen operates in 40 countries, boasts retail sales of around £250 million and employs more than 1,800 people. Outside of the UK, its store network comprises owned businesses and franchise partnerships.

Following the changes, Chairman of Aurora Fashions Derek Lovelock will become Executive Chairman of Karen Millen, working with Joint Managing Directors Gemma Metheringham and Steve Price.

Lovelock called the separation a “logical step”, adding: “Karen Millen is one of the great success stories of British fashion retailing.

“Independence will give us the platform to accelerate our international expansion and to focus on the next stage of the Karen Millen journey.”

Metheringham and Price said they have “bold plans” for the newly independent business, and customers can expect to see flagship stores open in Paris, Sydney, St Petersburg and Berlin this spring.

Published on Friday 04 March by Editorial Assistant

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