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Deputy Diary: Aurora Fashions to become Fresh Channel… sounds like a food business to me

When I saw this morning’s headline about Aurora Fashions’ decision to spin off Coast and rebrand the remaining business as Fresh Channel, I almost choked.

For a split second I thought Aurora was venturing into the food sector.

Fresh Channel? Really? What does it even mean? Maybe there’s a reason behind it (Derek, Mike, do enlighten me if there is), but without an explanation, the new name sounds a bit odd and has no relevance to fashion.

Maybe I’m making too much out of it. After all, shoppers won’t care – or know – that the parent company’s name has changed. They probably didn’t know it was called Aurora Fashions in the first place. They buy into the Oasis or Warehouse or Coast brand. If these were to be re-branded, then a lot more thought would have to go into the names, with Fresh Channel definitely not an option.

But perhaps it does matter to the wider fashion and retail industry. Derek Lovelock and Mike Shearwood said the reason behind the move was to make the individual businesses more agile – a rationale I completely agree with – and to “capitalise on the changing global retail environment”.

Karen Millen may have a strong global presence but Aurora’s portfolio of retailers is yet to make the same mark internationally.

If the group’s ambitions are global, then a name that resonates with potential business partners in different countries probably does matter. At the very least it would shave off 15 minutes of explanation to an e-commerce fulfilment partner that you’re selling clothes, not ready-meals.

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