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SuperGroup rebrands with new social ambitions

SuperGroup is rebranding to Superdry, as it continues to expand internationally.

SuperGroup was formed in 1985, when Julian Dunkerton launched a store called Cult Clothing in Cheltenham with his business partner, which they subsequently turned into a nationwide chain.

In 2003, Dunkerton joined forces with Bench founder James Holder to create a new in-house brand, Superdry. It has since grown into a £1.2bn-turnover wholesale and retail business. Cult Clothing closed in 2012 after being gradually phased out of the business.

SuperGroup will now be known as Superdry plc. Chief executive Euan Sutherland said the rebranding was an “important step”, and reflected its focus on developing Superdry “globally and digitally”.

The business also outlined new targets to use 100% organic cotton in its ranges and 100% renewable electricity across its operations by 2040.

It said it will operate entirely with renewable electricity in its stores and offices by 2020, which will then extend to its supply chain. It plans to work with franchisees and distribution partners to ensure that they use only renewables by 2030, and similarly with its suppliers to a 2040 deadline.

As part of its 2040 corporate social responsibility goals, it also aims to help 100,000 young people gain experience in the workplace, improve their practical and social skills, support their mental health and encourage them into education or training.

The news comes weeks after Dunkerton and Holder launched a long-term share-incentive scheme for the company’s 4,500 members of staff.

In an update on its operational strategy, the group said it will sharpen its focus on its ecommerce and wholesale channels, both of which “provide flexible, low capital routes to market”.

Superdry’s ecommerce business operates across 148 countries through 20 websites, accounting for more than 25% of retail revenue after growing by an average of 50% a year since 2015. The group introduces more than 5,000 product styles every year.

It added that it expected “significant” improvements in unit cost efficiency and revenue growth on the back of its five-year programme to improve operational and working capital efficiency.

This comprises investment in “best of breed” systems, colleague learning and development, distribution infrastructure and local sourcing offices.

Since March 2015, the business has posted 10 consecutive quarters of like-for-like retail sales growth, averaging 12%. Wholesale growth during the same period accelerated to average 30% per year.

Sutherland said: “Over the past three years our business has delivered a fundamental transformation becoming increasingly diversified not only internationally, but also by channel, product and in the customers we attract.”

 

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