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Reborn Tabitha shifts its strategy to retail

Women's accessories label Tabitha is shrinking its wholesale business to focus on retail and home shopping, after it was rescued from administration last week.

Founder Tabitha Somerset Webb has bought the business back with funding from unnamed private investors. She said the funding would lead to a change in strategy for the label.

She explained: "We had some delivery and production problems, so we have decided to focus on building a mail-order and retail business."

She added that all autumn deliveries would be on time.

Webb is looking for a 600sq ft site for the brand's first standalone store in London's Covent Garden, and plans to open another store in the next 12 months. Tabitha will also launch its mail-order business in September.

The brand's wholesale operation will be cut drastically, with its 250 UK accounts, mostly with independent retailers, being slashed to 15.

Webb said: "We want to focus on key accounts, including Fenwick, John Lewis and smaller boutiques. We still want to service our trade customers, but we'll stop going to trade shows, other than London Fashion Week."

The business is also on the hunt for a managing director to "take the brand forward".

Webb added: "We may look to expand outside accessories next year."

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