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Kim Winser to reposition Agent Provocateur

Agent Provocateur is to broaden its target customer group and develop more commercial collections under the guidance of former Aquascutum chief executive Kim Winser, who is acting as an adviser to the luxury lingerie chain.

Winser, who previously ran luxury brands Aquascutum and Pringle and who spent more then 20 years at Marks & Spencer, has been appointed senior adviser to private equity firm 3i, which owns Agent Provocateur and has a major investment in womenswear chain Hobbs.

Winser will work with both Agent Provocateur and Hobbs as well as advising 3i on future retail investments and acquisitions.

Winser left Aquascutum in May after her plans for a management buyout from its Japanese owner Renown failed. The business was bought in September by Jaeger owner Harold Tillman.

Agent Provocateur chief executive Garry Hogarth said: “Kim is brilliant on marketing and brand positioning. She could help us reach a wider audience and let them know you don’t have to be a 20-something with a perfect body to shop at Agent Provocateur.”

A spokeswoman said there was a possibility that Winser would take up a board position at either Agent Provocateur or Hobbs in the future.

Hogarth said the retailer was trading steadily in the UK and experiencing strong growth in the US. “We’re up about 10% on like-for-like sales for the year to date in the UK,” he said. “The US was at a low point for much of this year but has really picked up in the past two months, with like-for-like sales up 20% in November.”

Winser is also likely to work with Agent Provocateur on its strategy to extend its licensing business. The retailer is to launch a wholesale fine jewellery line via a new licensing deal with jewellery design and manufacturing firm BJB.

The range will be sold via Agent Provocateur’s shops and website, department store concessions, and through independent stockists. Wholesale prices are likely to range from £30 to £130, with retail prices from £65 to £350.

Agent Provocateur is in discussions with potential licensees for a range of bedding and for a sunglasses collection.

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