Blacks Leisure to revitalise brandsMonday, 01 June 2009
Blacks Leisure fell deeper into the red after another tough year for its struggling boardwear business. The company is expected to press on with its restructuring, providing that Lloyds Banking Group agrees to lend the owner of Milletts further funds.
Neil Gillis, chief executive, is embarking on a plan to cut costs, offload the boardwear business and revitalise the Blacks and Milletts brand. Gillis stated much now depended on how successful the retailer was in securing more cash from its bankers.
Blacks Leisure is in talks to put in a new credit line, having extended its £35m ($57m) facility to the end of August, and also needs Lloyds to lend it at least £7m to press on with converting its boardwear stores - trading as Freespirit and O'Neill - into Blacks or Milletts outlets.
The heritage of Blacks can be traced back to 1861 when Thomas Black founded his sail making company in Greenock, Scotland. The Blacks Leisure Group has strong positions within the two specialist markets in which it operates: Outdoor and Boardwear. The management team is focused on restoring competitive advantage in order to build on the improved operational disciplines achieved in the current year.