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Shop Direct to streamline sub-brands

Shop Direct is looking to streamline its womenswear sub-brands as it launches a “cash cow” label called Definitions.

Group product director Karl Doyle last week revealed a capsule collection for the new range, which will drop at the end of this month before “launching in earnest” with a 100-piece collection in September.

Definitions, sold through the Very fascia, is aimed at 25 to 40-year-olds and will “centre around wardrobe builders”, Doyle said, offering a distilled take on trends such as prints and monochrome, rather than the slavish “fashionista” approach of stablemate Love Label.

But the launch may also herald the demise of some of Shop Direct’s other sub-brands such as bridalwear range Berketex, 50-plus line Savoir and beachwear label Resort.

Doyle, who recently joined the business from Marks & Spencer, said he was “not someone who works with a lot of brands”, describing the end result of such an approach as “too schizophrenic” for consumers.

He plans to retain Very’s trend-led Love Label, casualwear brand South and the new day-to-evening line Definitions.

A review is taking place over the next couple of months to establish the future of the remaining brands.

“Anything outside of that, you have to question what you are doing,” he told Drapers, noting the team had already axed some brands. “We are working out how many we need and, if any more were to go, which they would be.”

Doyle added: “It’s much simpler when you’re dealing with fewer potential brands – if you can’t house a product within one of three sub-brands you’re doing something wrong.”

He described the launch of Definitions as “the biggest single move” in Shop Direct’s new approach, describing it as the “big cash cow in the market”.

Very has positioned the label alongside Zara and Next, with price points around 10% less than its competitors initially.

However, Doyle said Definitions had “leverage for more price elasticity” if the etailer decided to up its quality.

“If we invest in better fabrics and trims, I think the customer will pay that for this collection,” he said.

Doyle said within six months he expected Definitions to rival its younger sister line, Love Label, in size and stature, but had the potential to outgrow it.

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