Mulberry's sales down 15% in last 10 weeks

Thursday 12 June 2014 08.23
Ill-fated move upmarket took its toll on demand for Mulberry's handbags
Ill-fated move upmarket took its toll on demand for Mulberry's handbags

English luxury handbag maker Mulberry's like-for-like retail sales fell 15% in the 10 weeks to June 7, after an ill-fated move upmarket, now being reversed, which took its toll on demand. 

The brand also reported a near halving in its pre-tax profit to £14m for the year ended March 31, down from £26m the previous year. 

In its statement, the group did not give an update on its search for a chief executive after Bruno Guillon left in March following a string of profit warnings. 

On Guillon's departure, Chairman Godfrey Davis stepped in to run the group until a replacement was found. 

This week fashion veteran Thierry Andretta, former chief executive of privately owned French fashion brand Lanvin and now head of Italian jeweller Buccellati, joined Mulberry's board asa non-executive director. 

The group is working to extend its product range at lower price points, towards £500-800 to win back customers, put off by earlier price rises designed to burnish Mulberry's image as a luxury brand. 

Mulberry, like rivals Louis Vuitton and Gucci, are struggling to compete against more accessible, trendy fashion brands such as Michael Kors which give customers the look and feel of luxury at a fraction of the price.