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Superdry co-founder voices fears for fashion brand’s future

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Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton has said he fears for the future of the fashion brand unless it changes course – after its latest profit warning left the share price 80% below its peak earlier this year.

Mr Dunkerton is calling for shareholders to bring him back to the company he left in March and carry out a shake-up of its strategy after “bad decisions” made over the past year.

He told Sky News he was worried about the future for jobs at the Cheltenham-based business that he launched in 2003.

Mr Dunkerton said: “The only option now is to bring me back and go; ‘Right, there has to be a strategic change,’ and now is the moment.

“I am very aware of the ramifications of what is currently happening, and probably the job losses that would come unless the strategy was about to change.

“The sad truth is… if it continues the way it’s going it is not going to get better, it’s going to get worse. This is the moment to turn it around.”

Julian Dunkerton is co-founder of Superdry
Image:
Julian Dunkerton is co-founder of Superdry

Mr Dunkerton’s interview with Sky’s Ian King was broadcast days after Superdry issued its second profit warning in less than two months, sending the share price below £4 after it peaked at more than £20 earlier this year.

Superdry’s management has partly blamed unseasonably mild weather for its woes – pointing to an over-reliance on cold weather clothing.

It pointed to “lack of innovation” in its core ranges and is now looking to diversify into areas such as kidswear – a strategy of which Mr Dunkerton has been critical.

The company last week rejected the co-founder’s criticism, saying his views “have not evolved with the needs of what is now a multi-channel, international and increasingly digital retailer”.

But Mr Dunkerton, who first went public in the autumn about his campaign to return to the company, told Sky News he wanted shareholders to “jump ship and force a change” after he said the current management had delivered an 80% drop in value.

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