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SuperGroup branches out as it takes lessons from Ralph Lauren

SuperGroup plans to move into new categories including make-up as it plans to add “value to the brand”.

Superdry, which has already diversified into fragrances and sunglasses, will launch cosmetics in time for Christmas and is eyeing other opportunities for the brand, including watches.

SuperGroup chief executive Julian Dunkerton said: “The opportunities are seemingly endless. I’m doing what I think will add the most value to the brand. We could learn a lot from what Ralph Lauren has done.”

As part of the brand extension, the retailer is expanding its womenswear offer beyond its casualwear roots. Dunkerton said it will move into tailoring and more feminine lines such as maxi dresses. 

The expansion follows its move into formal menswear. 

Its collaboration with tailor Timothy Everest, which launches in spring 2013, will also be rolled out to womenswear. Dunkerton said the retailer plans further fashion collaborations. 

Womenswear will be a big focus over the year, according to Dunkerton. He aims to grow the category, which currently accounts for 35% of sales, to 50%. 

Underlying pre-tax profits at the group dropped 14.7% in the year to April 29, to £42.8m.

The fall, which SuperGroup warned of in April, was because of a glitch in its new warehouse management system. Sales climbed 31.9% to £313.8m over the year and UK like-for-likes, including internet sales, edged up 2%. 

Dunkerton said a strengthened management team, including chief operating officer Susanne Given and chief financial officer Shaun Wills, would help. He said: “They’ve already made a massive difference to how we function.”  

The group is to ditch its Cult fascia in order to concentrate on growing Superdry. All 20 Cult stores will be rebranded as Superdry before Christmas.

Dunkerton said: “The need for Cult has disappeared. It was becoming a management distraction.”

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