Saturday, July 13, 2024

Mulberry boss ousted as handbag maker struggles

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With price tags often beyond £1,000, it has become a staple of the British fashion world and a byword for quality.

However, it has recently struggled to deliver growth. Total revenues at the company fell by 4pc over the year to 30 March, while UK retail sales declined by 3.2pc.

Mulberry warned in May that it was struggling with a lack of shoppers from the Far East, who have been cutting back on spending amid China’s economic slowdown.

Mr Andretta also previously criticised the Government’s tourist tax, claiming it has harmed sales in the wake of Brexit. 

Luxury bosses have argued that the removal of tax-free shopping has made London less competitive compared to rival cities such as Paris and Milan. 

Following the closure of Mulberry’s New Bond Street boutique last year, Mr Andretta claimed the site had become unviable owing to a drop off in trade from overseas visitors. 

Despite a rise in US sales last year, Mulberry warned in May that it did not expect trading in the UK or China to improve in the short term. 

These struggles have led to a sell-off among investors. Mulberry’s share price has plunged by more than 60pc in the last 12 months and is down 42pc over 2024 to date. It fell by more than 6pc after Mr Andretta’s departure was announced on Tuesday but had rebounded more than 3pc by the end of trading. 

Mulberry is far from the only brand to suffer as the global luxury market stumbles. 

Kering, the owner of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Bottega, has warned over its profits this year, while The Telegraph revealed last week that British brand Burberry is planning to axe hundreds of jobs as part of a radical cost-cutting drive.

Chris Roberts, Mulberry’s chairman, said: “Following our search process, it was clear that Andrea’s international fashion brand expertise, creativity and strategic thinking meant he was absolutely the right person for this role. I’d also like to thank Thierry for his contribution to the business.”

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