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Revamped Hot Tuna casts net into Europe

Surfwear brand Hot Tuna is launching a transactional European website following a global overhaul of its product.

The AIM-listed business, which withdrew from the UK three years ago before relaunching for spring 11, will launch a European ecommerce site in July, which will be expanded to the US and southern hemisphere later in the year.

In the UK, the brand is available from etailers Asos and Amazon and via 30 independent stockists.

Hot Tuna chief executive Geoff O’Connell said it was primarily focused on etailing in the UK but that it would like to be in a major department store over the longer term. Hot Tuna was stocked by Debenhams before its withdrawal from the UK, which it blamed on challenging trading conditions including a restructure of its management team.

O’Connell, previously chief operating officer, took over as chief executive in April 2009 after the departure of Niels Juul.

Since then he has raised between £2.5m and £3m on the London Stock Exchange to fund a revamp of the brand’s product range and drive international expansion.

Hot Tuna has scrapped a number of categories, including accessories, to focus on T-shirts, boardshorts and swimwear. Its pink piranha logo has also been reintroduced on clothing.

O’Connell said: “We weren’t featuring the brand logo previously but we are now focused on the pink piranha; it’s our mantra.”

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