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Select's strategy for CVA recovery

Select CEO Cafer Mahiroğlu is focusing on customer experience, national marketing and talent investment to return the womenswear chain to profitability, following the approval of its second company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The fashion chain’s CVA was given the green light by 87% of the chain’s creditors and landlords on 13 June. Rent reductions across the 169 store portfolio range from having no impact to being rent free.

Mahiroğlu will prioritise investment into the revival of Select’s store portfolio, over online.

“Everyone is putting their attention into online, but stores need more attention now than ever,” he said. “We will be investing in making a better shopping experience with refits across the portfolio, with more stock variety and increased spend on visual merchandising.”

This will involve further investment in new store managers, the implementation of a performance-based bonus scheme to ensure high-quality customer service, and improved exchange policies. The womenswear chain is also in conversations with “a few retailers” regarding its first concessions.

Mahiroğlu plans to move the company’s headquarters from Kentish Town to join its logistics site in Edmonton at the end of the year.

Increased advertising spend is also in the works, Mahiroğlu told Drapers: “Our product and price is the best – the only problem is we have to shout more. I haven’t spent money on marketing since 2015, but from September forward we will start national coverage with a budget of £2m.”

He added: “Our projections for this year see us turning a profit. In the next couple of years, we will be one of the biggest on the high street.”

Select’s turnover was £116.7m for the 18 months to 2 December 2017, and it made an operating loss of £15.5m. This compared with a turnover of £81.26m for the 12 months to 4 June 2016, and an operating loss of £1.5m.



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