George Davies, creator of womenswear brand and retailer GIVe and founder of Next, Per Una and George at Asda, has called on the Government to make “tough cuts” now so that the economy doesn’t have to “pay again” later.
Davies, who this week was reported as saying he had considered quitting fashion earlier in the year after his GIVe concept proved more challenging than expected, told Drapers: “Retailing in the UK is as tough as I have ever known it.
“We all know we need to get out of this debt and there is a lot of caution,” he said.
Davies admitted that the performance of GIVe, the womenswear concept focused on premium pricing and excellent customer service which he launched last year, had been mixed.
He added that 60% of the business, which trades from eight standalones and about 15 joint venture departments within independent department stores, had traded well. However, he conceded that sales at the London Regent Street flagship and at the Bluewater shopping centre standalone in Kent had been “tough”.
Davies said retailers needed the Government to act now to get the country’s “house in order”.
“It is so vital for the Government to give us confidence,” explained Davies.
“It is like a mark-down in retail; the first mark-down is the best and if you fudge it you have to mark down more - it is the same with the economy. We need to make the tough cuts now or we will have to pay again later.”
Separately, Davies said he planned to launch a kidswear chain in the Middle East in partnership with Saudi property and retail company Fawaz Alhokair Group.
A menswear and womenswear concept is also in the pipeline with Fawaz Alhokair.