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Menswear division under threat in Mulberry rethink

The future of Mulberry’s ready-to-wear menswear division is in question after the luxury leather goods brand confirmed it was shifting its resources to its more profitable non-core categories, footwear and womenswear.

Mulberry said it was undertaking a strategic review of the business and would analyse the “payback” from its categories before adjusting planned investment in each. It is thought the men’s ready-to-wear range could be scrapped by spring 10.

Chief operating officer Lisa Montague said: “Womenswear has been performing well so we have decided to focus more resources there, and in footwear. To make these investments, we will be moving funds away from other areas and menswear will be one of those.”
She added: “We haven’t determined collections for spring 10 and won’t announce them until July.”

Montague said accessories accounted for 90% of Mulberry’s sales, with womenswear making up the majority of the final 10%. She said: “Menswear is a very small part.”

Mulberry has made three redundancies this year, but Montague said this was from a workforce of more than 700 and no more were planned.

Mulberry released a trading statement saying like-for-like retail sales had beaten expectations over Christmas, rising 30%. Montague said trading had held up since then, but that she was cautious about 2009 and 2010, adding: “We are using the current climate as a chance to carry out overdue reviews.”

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