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Exclusive: MBT shelves new styles in bid to clear old stock

Beleaguered comfort footwear brand MBT is halting production in an effort to shift existing stock that has backed up since it fell into administration in May.

Drapers has learned that the brand is not planning to introduce any new styles to the UK until at least autumn 13.

In an email sent to stockists and seen by Drapers, the autumn 12 collection was being offered for both the existing season and spring 13.

Singapore-based Masai International, the southeast Asian distributor for MBT, bought the brand and its global assets out of administration in August. The UK arm has since relaunched, with Franck Villard, who previously worked for the Spanish division, as managing director in the UK.

But a source close to the situation told Drapers that no new MBT product had been developed since that point, as the business aims to sell off surplus stock.

“The new owners have said they don’t want to discount the product, which is definitely a good thing for the brand,” the source said. “This does mean they will have to wait for stockists to sell through on it at full price before they can think about designing new product and starting to move the brand on. I wouldn’t expect to see any refreshed product or new designs until autumn 13.”

Villard could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press, but in the email sent to stockists he said: “This winter will be a transition collection and I really think that big change in the product and in marketing will arrive next winter.”

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