Schuh’s CEO denies possible sale as pressure builds

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Schuh

Schuh chief executive Colin Temple has brushed aside fears it could be sold off by its US owner Genesco following increasing pressure from investors.

The US-based Genesco, which bought the footwear retailer in 2011 for £100 million, has come under pressure from activist group Legion Partners to offload the business.

In a letter sent to Genesco last week, Legion Partners said it was “unacceptable” to continue operating with a “disparate set of assets with such a poor record of value creation”.

Temple has sought to reassure investors that this was unlikely to happen, telling the Press Association he was not nervous that “that we will be put up for sale in the foreseeable future”.

“I am intrigued about what will happen with the activist investor but I’m confident that it makes sense to be part of the organisation,” Temple added.

Although Schuh’s financial results for 2017 are yet to be published, it reported a five per cent rise in turnover to £280.0 million in 2016.

Despite this, the retailer warned last year that there was “no assurance” Schuh’s performance would not be affected by Brexit pressures.

“The other thing that’s kind of changed quite a lot of us and did actually materially affect us was the weather,” Temple said.

“We didn’t have a great boot season last winter… and we were nervous around Black Friday that we wouldn’t be able to sell the kind of winterised product – the product that we didn’t want to carry over into February.

“Our profitability has gone down a little bit over the years but we’re still profitable and that means that we’re not forced to close stores… I don’t see right at this moment the need to be taking a knife to our store portfolio.”

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