Coast is broadening its scope beyond pure occasionwear to include more contemporary items, ahead of the arrival of new chief executive Kate Bostock.
Acknowledging the toughness of the occasionwear market, and growing competition from other womenswear retailers offering occasionwear lines, Lovelock said: “We’re never going to compete with young brands directly, but we can offer our take on the prom dress, or our take on the more casual occasions.
“Coast is going to offer more contemporary items… It’s a journey that we’ve already started but one that Kate will pick up with when she joins.”
Lovelock, who was parachuted in to oversee the business as Margaret McDonald left to join Victoria’s Secret, told Drapers the move would also give Bostock “her chance to be involved in the whole of a business and the whole of a brand”.
Coast currently has 373 stores and concessions in 26 different countries.
Bostock will report directly to the board, on which Lovelock sits.