Lingerie brand house Eveden has outlined plans to build French brand Huit by driving it into its existing account base in the UK after acquiring the business last month.
Eveden, which bought Huit out of administration on April 15 in a deal worth €1m (£868,117), said the brand would broaden Eveden’s portfolio with a more premium, fashion-led lingerie offer.
Eveden, which specialises in large cup-size brands including Freya, Fauve, Fantasie and Elomi, said it would make Huit more competitive in the UK by increasing repeat product sold, dropping prices and targeting wholesale accounts where Eveden’s other brands already have a presence.
Eveden chief executive Tracey Lewis said wholesale pricing for Huit would be “slightly lower” than the brand’s current £14 to £21.40.
“Huit is small in the UK and US so we have a great opportunity to develop into those markets, which are 75% of Eveden’s business,” she said. “Any brand based in the Eurozone had challenges when trying to bring that brand to the UK [because of exchange rates], but Huit took prices too high.”
Huit has 2,000 wholesale accounts worldwide, as well as two standalone stores in France and Singapore. In the UK, it has 100 accounts, including lingerie etailer Figleaves and upmarket lingerie chain Rigby & Peller.
Eveden has made 25% of Huit’s 125-strong workforce redundant. Eveden’s supply chain and European sales teams now also work on Huit and a site manager will be appointed to run the Huit office in Rennes, France.
Huit went into administration in February after struggling with cash flow after buying the Barbara lingerie brand, which it bought out of administration in March 2009. Eveden has not acquired Barbara, which remains in administration.
Lewis said Huit also struggled because it did not have the structure to support its trading patterns. “Huit is very spring/summer-oriented, particularly because of its strong swimwear offer, which meant it did most of its business from January to April so cash flow was tight later in the year,” she said.
She added that Eveden would balance Huit’s trading by marketing all-year swimwear and ramping up autumn collections.