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Henri Lloyd gears up for premium relaunch

Sailing-inspired fashion brand Henri Lloyd is planning an upmarket relaunch under its new Swedish owners, Drapers can reveal.

Established in Manchester in 1963, Henri Lloyd was bought in a pre-pack administration by Aligro UK, a subsidiary of Swedish firm Aligro Group, in June.

Shortly afterwards, the former chief executive of Swedish sports fashion distributor Sportmanship, Magnus Liljeblad, was appointed CEO of Henri Lloyd, which is now headquartered in Gothenburg.

Liljeblad is now moving the brand upmarket and imposing a renewed focus on quality and its sailing heritage. Although wholesale prices are yet to be finalised, they will rise by between 25% and 30% compared with its previous collections.  

A small capsule collection of 20 to 30 styles will launch for autumn 19 in 25 to 30 third-party stockists across Europe, ahead of a full collection for spring 20.

“After the administration we had the opportunity to start again,” Liljeblad told Drapers. “We re-assessed the quality and price of our products. We are focusing on getting back to our strengths in sailing gear, then building our fashion credentials.”

The brand is also changing its distribution in line with its pricing architecture. 

Before falling into administration, Henri Lloyd had 120 UK stockists. Liljeblad said around 70% of them would no longer be suitable, and he is looking for around 50 good-quality UK independents for “optimum representation”.

“We are looking for high-quality retailers, to give us a more focused distribution in future,” he explained.

The brand will offer a “digital shop in shop” for independents that will allow customers to access the full Henri Lloyd offer in store. The retailer will get a percentage of the sale.

“We are thinking digital first,” said Graham Allen, country manager for Henri Lloyd UK. “The retailer will get a cut of the online sale, so it is an opportunity for indies. The risk is low as they aren’t carrying the stock, but it offers shoppers a wider selection.”

As well as wholesaling, the brand will focusing on driving online sales. 

Before Henri Lloyd went into administration, online sales were around 10% of the total. It wants to increase this to 30% in the next three years. It will relaunch its website in 2019.

The business currently has a team of 15 across Sweden and the UK. It is streamlining its operations and will have one central European warehouse going forward, down from 17.

It is also looking into licensing out footwear and eyewear following a deal to launch a kidswear collection with manufacturing and distribution company Brand Machine Group for spring 19. 

Henri Lloyd had 12 UK stores before it went into administration. It will continue to run the five that were bought as part of the administration deal.

The brand posted turnover of £17.7m for the year to 1 April 2017, with a gross profit of £6.1m and an operating profit of £247,688.

 

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