Jaeger’s losses have narrowed to £1.1m and parent company Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) has hailed the premium womenswear brand’s expansion as one of its “biggest successes this year”.
The £1.1m loss in its latest reporting period – the 27 weeks to 2 March 2019 – compares with a loss of £6.5m in the 74 weeks to 25 August 2018, and a loss of £7.1m in the year before Jaeger collapsed into administration in April 2017.
During the 27 weeks to 2 March, Jaeger opened seven new stores and four concessions. It has 14 stores and 72 concessions in total.
A spokesman for EWM said: “The turnaround in Jaeger’s fortunes validates our heavy investment in the brand and our commitment to hiring top industry talent. It also validates our approach of replacing the company’s previous reliance on an unsustainable low-margin, discount-led marketing strategy with our plan to re-establish Jaeger as a badge of quality, which has been done effectively.
“This echoes our commitment as a group to ‘first price, right price’ and our resistance to an escalating discounting culture, which we have strongly resisted.”
EWM, which also owns the Edinburgh Woollen Mill chain, Peacocks, Austin Reed, Jacques Vert owner Calvetron Brands and men’s tailoring brand Berwin & Berwin, reported a profit after tax of £23.4m for the 27 weeks to 2 March.
It reported a profit before tax of £81.2m for the 78 weeks to 25 August 2018.
Group revenues over the 27-week period were £327.14m, and it improved its net asset position to £430.3m. This compares with group revenues of £935.8m in 78 weeks to 25 August 2018, and a net asset position of £406.4m.
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill brand posted a profit after tax of £12m in the 27-week reporting period, against £25.6m in the 78 weeks to 25 August 2018.
Value retailer Peacocks made a profit after tax of £17m in the 27-week reporting period, compared with £53.5m in the 2018 financial reporting period.
In March 2019, the Austin Reed, Berwin & Berwin (including Baumler) and Jacques Vert (including Dash, Eastex and Windsmoor) businesses were formally consolidated into Jaeger to create a single luxury tailoring division, operating from the division’s new headquarters in London’s Victoria.
The group spokesman said: “In the face of a challenging retail environment, our relentless commitment to customers and their wants and needs has allowed us, again, to stand out from the crowd. Customers continue to look for exceptional value for money and reject low-quality, ‘wear once’ apparel. In response, we have continued to focus not only on retailing at a highly attractive price point, which is essential, but also ensuring a fashionable look and cut, high level of build quality, and extended product longevity across all our brands.
“Paired with a strong digital offering, especially in the form of click and collect, customers are increasingly looking for good-quality options on the UK physical high street against the background of a number of retailers reducing their store estates. As we continue to expand our store estate, our multi-fascia strategy has allowed us to appeal to a wide demographic of customers across a range of different price points; whether that is good-quality yet affordable clothing from Peacocks or high-quality signature pieces from Jaeger.”
He added: “Our strong financial position, emphasis on recycling profits for long-term investment in the future, and highly effective logistical backbone continue to provide an important competitive advantage for the group, allowing us to maintain and extend profit margins at the same time as continuing to pursue new opportunities for the group as they emerge.”