Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Jane Norman to get makeover as it moves upmarket

Jane Norman is preparing to unveil a reinvented look for autumn 13 – but the young fashion retailer has angered some suppliers by cancelling orders at the last minute.

No imagery has yet been shot but Philip Day, chief executive of Jane Norman’s parent company Edinburgh Woollen Mill (ewm), said the new collection would focus on separates, denim and a “head-to-toe signature look” rather than the “glitzy gypsy wedding-style dresses” the company has produced in the past.

Price points of the ‘New Jane’ will remain the same “on the whole”, but Day said the quality of the product has been “vastly improved”.

He said: “There was a lot wrong with the brand at the beginning and we had to reinvent the collections for Jane. It has been a slow and difficult process but we have dealt with the situation properly and worked through it with stores that we didn’t necessarily want to keep open.”

EWM acquired Jane Norman two years ago, and Day committed to opening 50 to 75 stores over a 15-month period.

However, the business is now looking to downsize, with Day confirming he was reviewing individual stores when leases came up. He told Drapers the strategy was to “remove Jane Norman from the mass market and make the brand more exclusive.”

Day is also looking to expand Jane Norman internationally, with plans to enter China, Japan, South Korea and India in the next two years. At present the retailer has 20 stores in the Middle East.

He said: “Jane Norman has the potential to be the next great British brand on the international market.

Unlike Peacocks and other mass-market retailers, Jane Norman is a fashion brand and could be rolled out to a huge customer base across the globe.”

But while EWM is looking to move Jane Norman in a new direction, Drapers has learned that suppliers are being left out of pocket through last-minute cancellations of orders. One such case saw a supplier losing out to the tune of five figures.

Day said poor weather had dampened trading, and therefore “every fashion retailer” was being cautious about stock intake. He insisted orders were only being cancelled for “late or inferior products”.

Jane Norman has undergone a significant period of change since it was bought out by EWM, including the closure of its London headquarters, which resulted in around 40 redundancies.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Mark Ashton

    I'm very surprised at this decision. There is no cake left in the denim, separates area. For the first time in 2 years I thought the product / special dresses were looking strong and they were grinding out a decent USP.
    Buying brands in that do it better than them could be an idea, intake margin would be lower but the exit would be high if proper advice and direction was given by the brand / partner.
    To lose that special product now would be dangerous after such progress has been made...........

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.