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Mulberry to expand internationally

British luxury group Mulberry in its latest annual results stated it has entered "a new phase of development of the Mulberry brand with emphasis on international development.” Company chief, Godfrey Davis, said the new phase "will involve a material increase in marketing spend for the foreseeable future to increase customer awareness and desire for Mulberry globally".

The firm has been expanding in North America and its associate company opened a fifth shop in Atlantic City in May. In Asia , its partner, Club 21, which also distributes Armani in the UK , plans to open a second larger shop in Hong Kong before Christmas, while in Korea , its partner plans to open two department store shop-in-shops during the next year, bringing the total to three.

It will also continue its domestic market expansion with new UK stores - one is planned for Glasgow this autumn, another will open at Stansted Airport during the summer and Mulberry is also building a store in the key Terminal 5 development at Heathrow.
22 June 2007



Mulberry first Terminal 5 store

Mulberry is the first fashion house to commit to the new shopping mecca that is to be Terminal 5 at Heathrow. The store will open in March 2008, and will complement the luxury leather goods company's two other stores in Heathrow Terminals 1 and 4. The 600sq ft space also marks the first of a new design development, with bags hanging from branches of climbing iron vines that grow up and across the ceiling.

"We are delighted to welcome Mulberry to Terminal 5," said BAA retail MD Col in Hargrave. "Airport shopping has reached new heights over the years and consumers have increasingly come to expect high levels of service - and a high-quality experience. Mulberry will rise to this challenge and ensure that every traveler enjoys a unique and wonderful store experience."

Mulberry is aiming to be the number one British accessories label.
25 October 2006


Mulberry profits soar

Mulberry Group announced profits had almost tripled to £4.9 million, up from £1.7 million. A strong rise in sales of leather accessories drove the results in the fiscal year ended 31 March. They represented 90 percent of total sales, which rose 44.3 percent to £43.4 million. Leather handbags sold particularly well. The remaining 10 percent of sales came from ready-to-wear. “It’s great for the whole team,” said Mulberry’s chief operating officer, Lisa Montague. “The rise in profits came mostly from an increase in sales – and a more efficient retail business.” The company, which is in hands of the Ong family and is listed on the London secondary AIM stock exchange, will also pay its first dividend since 1988 of 1 penny a share. Montagu said that the strongest growing markets were the US, South East Asia and Japan, accounting for 30 percent of total sales. “For so long, Mulberry has been northern European-focused, which is why we’re now seeing results from these new booming markets,” she said. Retail sales account for 55 percent of sales, while wholesale sales account for 45 percent.

Mulberry has recently opened stores in Oslo and on Bleecker Street in New York. New store openings are in the pipeline this year for Melrose Place in Los Angeles, Singapore, Seoul, Istanbul, and at Villa Moda in Dubai. In emerging markets such as Korea and Turkey, the company has partnered with retailers to open franchises. Mulberry said that UK retail sales in the first 11 weeks of this fiscal year had risen 19 percent, while fall 2006 wholesale orders gained 12 percent. The company’s number one product has been the small messenger bag, the Anthony. Although it had been designed with men in mind, women have become fans, making it an even better seller than de Roxanne or Bayswater bags. “The success of our men’s bags has come as a surprise. In the UK, we now have 7 percent of the overall men’s bag market,” said Montague.
26 June 2006


Mulberry in further US expansion

Luxury fashion and accessories brand Mulberry may open a second store in New York as part of its US expansion plans. The British company has its eye on a property on Madison Avenue and may be close to closing the deal, a source told WWD. The company confirmed that it was looking for a second site.

Mulberry is looking to open six to eight stores in the US this year, a source has revealed to WWD. Possible locations include Boston, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Greenwich, Connecticut. Its first US opening, in New York's Bleecker Street, is scheduled for August of this year. This store will be the first outside the UK to offer a bespoke bag service.

The retailer is said to receive financial backing for its US expansion from Presidio International, which is run by Singapore financier Ong Beng Seng, a majority shareholder in Mulberry. Presidio also owns A|X Armani Exchange in the US.

In the UK, Mulberry has four directly owned stores in London and also sells in Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and House of Fraser. It will open its first Edinburgh store this month, as well as a second store in Thailand and one in Taiwan.

In the US the brand is sold at high end department stores Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York and select Neiman Marcus stores.
25 April 2006

Mulberry growth to exceed expectations

British luxury group Mulberry is expanding its worldwide retail presence. The company, which specializes in leather goods, gave a trading update ahead of it full-year results and said that its annual results “will exceed current market expectations” despite tough trading conditions.

At the half-year stage, Mulberry recorded pre-tax profits of £1.7 million. Pre-tax profits for the previous full year reached£1.95 million. However, for the year ended 31 March, analysts are predicting pre-tax profits of £4.9 million on sales of £42.53 million due to the company's international.

The company is not immune to the tough trading conditions in the UK. “Sales in the UK have continued to grow in the second half but at a slower rate due to less favourable trading conditions,” Mulberry said.

Demand for the brand is growing in the UK and Europe, according to chairman and chief executive Godfrey Davis. However, the company is hoping expansion in the US and in Japan will boost growth. In the US it is aiming to sell via 90 high-end stores this year including Saks and Bergdorf Goodman. In Japan, it distributes through Mitsui and Sanki Shoji.
3 April 2006


Mulberry goes state-side

British luxury fashion house Mulberry has found a location for its first US store on New York's trendy Bleecker Street, reports WWD. Mulberry will be joining brands such as Marc Jacobs, who opened a store there in 2003, Cynthia Rowley, Ralph Lauren and Lulu Guinness.

Since 2002, Mulberry has been experiencing a turn-around in its fortunes. New management has been responsible for ending years of losses and developing a successful growth strategy. Sales in the first quarter ended 30 September rose 58 percent from the year before, when sales amounted to $21.1 million (£12 million).

Wholesale sales represent about half of the company's turnover. The other half is generated by Mulberry's own stores.

Mulberry has four stores in London and also sells to Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and House of Fraser. In the pipeline are store openings in Edinburgh, Thailand and Taiwan.

In the US the brand is sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York and select Neiman Marcus stores.
1 March 2006




Mulberry Bags Profit

Mulberry has shrugged of concerns about a downturn in consumer spending, reporting a 19 per cent increase in sales to £30.1m in the year to the end of March. Reflecting the wisdom of a shift in focus from clothing to accessories such as its iconic handbags, Mulberry reported a big jump in pre-tax profits from just £31,000 a year ago to £2m.

Godfrey Davis, chairman and chief executive, said: "We have delivered sales growth and a substantial increase in profit. "The outlook is very positive with growing order books and retail sales. The programme of expansion in the USA, Asia and Japan has made an encouraging start."

Like-for-like sales in UK full price shops were 19 per cent up across the year, while the opening of new stores in the US and Asia at the end of 2004 proved a succesful move. Orders from the new markets of the USA, Asia and Japan grew to 17 per cent of the group total compared to less than 1 per cent last year.
In current trading, Mulberry's own stores continue to trade strongly, with like-for-like sales in the full price UK shops for the first nine weeks of the new financial year up by over 47 per cent.

The company said: "This rate of growth is expected to decline as the year progresses because the figures in the second half of the year will be compared to the period last year when substantial sales growth was achieved."
24 June 2005


Mulberry sales skyrocket

British luxury goods brand Mulberry Plc has reported a 50 per cent surge in sales this spring. The company attributes the increase in sales to the uninterrupted strategy to renew its image.

The brand's UK same-store sales increased by 50 per cent in the first eleven weeks of the spring season, while the spring order book has surpassed last year's by at least 55 per cent. Mulberry reported that orders for the autumn and winter season were also already beating last year's.

The brand has become one of the leading UK accessories brands, favoured by the likes of style icon Kate Moss. Mulberry is now focusing on expanding its presence throughout Asia and the US by building partnerships with department stores and distributers.
11 April 2005


Mulberry Bags Proved Most-Wanted

Sales of leather accessories, notably handbags, have boosted sales for Mulberry over the festive sales period. Mulberry's sales in its own stores have continued to grow strongly, with like-for-like sales in its full price UK shops up 14 per cent in the 14 weeks to January 1 and up 15 per cent in the five week Christmas period to January 1.

The order book for accessories continues to outperform the company's expectations, with orders for the spring ranges from the new markets of the USA and Asia ahead of plan and expected to exceed £1m.

Following the successful launch this winter of Mulberry ranges in the Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys New York stores, Neiman Marcus has taken Mulberry handbags into 13 US stores for spring, with plans to expand to 20 in the autumn. Asian distributor Club 21, opened a first shop in Hong Kong at the end of October, planning to build on a strong start with further shops in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in the first half of 2005.

Mulberry chairman and chief executive Godfrey Davis said: "Our customers have responded well to our strategy of investing in design to develop great products. "Orders for our core leather goods and, in particular, women's handbags have continued to grow strongly. Our own shops have experienced sustained sales growth and a strong Christmas."
20 January 2005


Mulberry Rush

Artist Abigail Lane has teamed with must-have label Mulberry to design a range of cashmere blankets in a chequerboard pattern, in black and white or blue and brown. Blankets are £750 each. For more info contact Mulberry on 020 7491 3900
16 December 2004


Mulberry predicts sales increase

The British luxury goods and clothing company Mulberry Group Plc reported a small first half profit, its first interim profit since its IPO in 1996. Furthermore, the Group revealed that it would be focusing on building its business in the US and Asia.

The Somerset-based company reported a profit on ordinary activities of GBP17,000 in the first half ending 30 September. The same period last year saw a loss of GBP615,000. The Group also reported an operating profit of GBP133,000 as opposed to its operating loss of GBP414,000 in the same period last year. Store sales were remained static at GBP12.1 million with like-for-like sales at UK stores up by 7%. Mulberry predicts a sales growth for the second half based on a 13% increase in current like-for-like sales in the UK and a strong growth in orders.

The company's accessories business accounts for 80% of sales and continued to perform well. The recent launch of the Bayswater and Roxanne bags stimulated sales greatly, according to Mulberry. However, the men's and women's wear businesses' poor performances and shop closures in the first half affected Group sales.

Mulberry plans on building a strong and enduring business in its new US and Asian markets. Its accessories launch in the US has proved successful thus far with strong sales at Bergdorf Goodman and the three Barneys stores. Next spring, Neiman Marcus will start selling Mulberry accessories and Bergdorf Goodman is set to start selling Mulberry women's wear.

The Group's Asian - not including Japan - partner, Club 21, opened the first Mulberry in-store shop in October. Further stores will open in Singapore and Bangkok over the next six months. A further Mulberry store will open in an Isetan department store in Tokyo next spring.
14 December 2004


Mulberry Opens Boutique

Mulberry has opened its first 'boutique' as opposed to major store, in a former antiques shop on Westbourne Grove. It boasts a dramatic interior featuring metallic wallpaper with an art-deco print, antique porcelain hooks and wooden counters. Not to mention the loveliest leather bags and accessories.

15 October 2004


Mulberry Founder Leaves Company

The founder of English luxury leathergoods house Mulberry is leaving the company, according to the Financial Times. Roger Saul has sold off the majority of his stake from the company he set up more than 30 years ago. Saul told the Financial Times he would use the money to help fund new ventures.

9 September 2004


Mulberry reports profits

British luxury leather goods and fashion brand Mulberry has reported pre-tax profits of GBP 41,000 in the year ending March, compared to a loss of GBP2.1m a year ago. Mulberry, which has 6 retail outlets as well as concession in department stores such as Liberty and Harvey Nichols, said like-for-like sales in its shops were down by 1 per cent across the year.

The stores saw lower sales in the July and January sales, due in part to fewer markdowns due to better stock management, which helped margins. The company has continued to revamp its stores, with the airport store at Heathrow the latest to be converted to the new format. Total group sales for the year fell to GBP25.3m, down from GBP28.2m a year ago, which reflects the strategy to eliminate unprofitable sales channels, reduced clearance lines, and focus on the core accessories offer.

Mulberry's accessories account for approximately 70 per cent of its sales, the year saw new designs of handbags for women and unisex casual work bags become best sellers as Mulberry targets a more fashion conscious customer with its marketing and PR campaigns. In addition, Mulberry's Piccadilly, Bayswater and Roxy bags have been carried by many fashionable celebrities

The men's and women's clothing collections are being repositioned to bring them into line with the accessories offer, with the group's strategy to limit the distribution of clothing in order to focus on growing sales of accessories. Chairman and chief executive Godfrey Davis said: "We have achieved a substantial business turnaround. The first financial objective for the year was to break the loss making pattern of previous years. We have achieved this by focusing on our core accessories business, improving margins, reducing costs and eliminating non profitable sales."

25 June 2004