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Boohoo details Karen Millen relaunch

Boohoo Group plans to keep a London-based product team for Karen Millen and Coast to “retain the [brands’] DNA”, Boohoo co-founder and executive director Carol Kane told Drapers following a bumper set of half-year results.

The group’s revenue jumped 43% year on year to £564.9m in the six months to 31 August. Adjusted EBITDA was up 53% to £60.7m, while gross profit grew 40% to £306.5m.

During the period, Boohoo Group added MissPap, and premium fashion brands Karen Millen and Coast to its pre-existing portfolio of fast fashion etailers comprising Boohoo, PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal.

The group will relaunch Karen Millen and Coast as an online-only business on 1 October.

Kane told Drapers that a 100-strong product team will remain based in London, moving to a new office in the capital next month.

“Karen Millen’s positioning [will] not [be] very different,” she said. “It’s very much about the everyday tailoring and stylish stuff you can wear to the office and go out. It’s very elevated.”

“Coast, being the occasion brand, that is where the initial focus will be,” she added.

Karen Millen and Coast suppliers told Drapers earlier this month that they are facing further losses after Boohoo offered to buy just a fraction of stock already produced for the brands’ relaunch next week.

Kane said: “We’re out and about trying to work with the current suppliers on stock in the pipeline coming through. But we’re largely out on the road working on a new supply chain, plugging that into the model giving us a more elevated product.”

The majority of these new suppliers are in Europe and the Far East.

Although a pricing strategy is still to be set, with most of the relaunch inventory sourced from stock already produced, Kane told Drapers that both brands will have a lower entry point. They will, however, maintain their elevated exit price.

“Average selling prices will change quite radically in the next six months as we grow the inventory,” she said, “Karen Millen had about 400 styles, but in a pureplay business you’ve got to scale that up to several thousand very quickly.”

After its flurry of recent acquisitions Boohoo has no plans to snap up any more brands in the short term. 

Kane said: “In the short term even if an amazing deal was on the table and I was tempted, I’d hold back because all of our brands are doing so well. It’s really important that our stable of brands continue their growth at the rate they have been.” 



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