Mulberry is reinventing itself again.
The quirky British retailer has made a quiet improvement on sales for the six months 30 September, recording a profit of £100,000 in its interim results compared to a loss of £1.1m for the same period last year.
Sales hit £68.7m in those six months and revenue rose 5% to £67.8m, while gross profit margin increased by 1.6% to 61.5%.”¯
The mid-market fashion retailer has been keeping a low-profile since the departure of former CEO Bruno Guillon, whose attempts to augment the ‘luxury‘ of the brand, backfired.
Guillon, once the CEO of high-end French label HÃ¨rmes, directed his attention to overseas markets such as China and increased the value of products to price points that alienated core British customers. He was trying to create a mini-HÃ¨rmes, shall we say.
It is said that Guillon drove renowned Creative Director Emma Hill out, who left Mulberry after six years. She is credited for turning Mulberry into a global player but following disagreements with her French boss over strategy, she left. This year Hill launched her own label, Hill and Friends.
Now the brand has a new CEO, Theirry Andretta, and with him a new creative director, Johnny Coca.
Coca was poached from French label CÃ©line and will debut his first collection at London Fashion Week in February 2016. Since Mulberry won‘t have staged a catwalk collection in over two years, all eyes will be on the show.
Now is Mulberry‘s chance at a clean slate but as Retail Gazette understands, Coca‘s ideas could be deemed controversial.
The brand is steeped in heritage but has caused concern over its “inability to foster a viable identity”, writes retail research agency Conlumnio.
Hill put Mulberry on the map when she created the ‘Willow‘ bag, a 2-in-1 clutch and handbag that has a starting price of £1,250 – will there be enough innovation in Coca‘s range? Will the way he tells the Mulberry story be enough to woo buyers, customers and investors?