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Ben Sherman cuts back its operations

Ben Sherman plans to drop its footwear and kidswear collections by the end of the year to focus on its core menswear and womenswear offers.

The middle-market lifestyle brand said it had entered into consultation with 40 of its staff and was reviewing a number of functions and positions across its UK business.

Last month, Ben Sherman, which is owned by US supply group Oxford Industries, said sales in the fourth quarter ended January 31 had fallen by 30% to US$26.2 million (£18.2m), pushing the brand into the red with losses of US$2.2m (£1.5m) against a profit of US$2.7m (£1.87m) last year. It blamed the fall on shrinking orders from UK wholesale customers, and the 26% fall in sterling against the US dollar.
Sources told Drapers that at its height earlier this decade, Ben Sherman footwear generated about £10m worth of sales annually, making it one of the largest footwear brands in the middle market.

Ben Sherman chief executive Miles Gray said: “Together with many other leading companies in the UK fashion sector, we are experiencing challenging trading conditions. However, we remain a strong UK and international business.”

He added that Ben Sherman would proceed with its flagship store opening programme, with Moscow being the next location.

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