Oct 14, 2019
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Superdry's Dunkerton 'saves' Christmas for retailer

Oct 14, 2019

Julian Dunkerton, who took back control of Superdry after winning a dispute with former CEO Euan Sutherland in April, has claimed his strategy reset will be enough to see the retailer through the crucial Christmas trading period.

Julian Dunkerton - Superdry

The outspoken chief executive officer made the remark in a video released by City broker Liberum, saying: “Have I done enough to save Christmas? I actually think yes, I think it’s going to be quite exciting.”

Since returning as chief executive officer of the Japanese-themed clothing brand, Dunkerton has reshuffled the management team, reset the physical retail strategy and added new products.

He said that the design team has added about 15% new product to the existing range, with new styles set to hit stores later this month ahead of the festive season.

The Superdry boss has been very vocal about his plans to restore the brand to former glory, but it seems investors are less bullish about the company’s prospects. In fact, the share price has fallen by a quarter since he took over and are down by nearly 60% since October last year.

In November Superdry is expected to release an update for the first half of the year, and shareholders will be looking for something that can reignite the stock after disappointing results in the year to April 2019. 

Analysts expect underlying profits to rebound by 24% in the current year, after the company posted a pre-tax loss of £85m in FY2019. But revenues are forecasted to fall slightly, according to the Financial Times.

An expert at Investec said the company’s problems are more deep-rooted than Dunkerton has suggested, describing the brand as “a major restructuring story rather than a two to three-year brand reinvigoration”.

Kate Calvert told FT that same-store sales had been falling for years once the effects of currency movements were stripped out and that profitability had been declining. 

“This suggests to us that Superdry’s range and brand issue go back further than the last 18 months,” she added.

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