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Temperley London to undergo major repositioning

Temperley London chief executive Ulrik Garde Due has begun a major repositioning of the British designer label in an effort to create a single brand voice.

Speaking exclusively to Drapers about his plans, Garde Due confirmed that diffusion line Alice by Temperley would be incorporated into the Temperley London mainline from spring 15, as revealed by last month.

“The strategy to have one clear designer voice has been welcomed by everyone,” he said, referring to wholesale stockists Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. “[By bringing the two collections together] we will halve the number of styles but offer more depth into each category, so not necessarily in terms of SKUs. We were making too many different products before.”

Garde Due added that entry price points will be extended in the mainline so blouses will retail from £225, dresses from £395, jackets from £695 and gowns from £2,500. The mark-up to wholesale stockists is 2.75.

The repositioning will also include a change in sourcing strategy. At present, 40% of the collection is made in Europe, with another 40% planned to move out of Asia and into Europe over the next few seasons.

When he joined Temperley in September 2013, Garde Due vowed to turn it from a British fashion company into a British lifestyle brand as part of a five-year plan. He told Drapers this week that the brand is “lacking giftables” and plans to launch accessories, including belts, bags and shoes, in the next 12 months. For autumn 14, the scarves and tailoring offerings have been extended.

While Garde Due also plans to open another store on the outskirts of London to add to the Notting Hill, Mayfair and Bicester Village shops, he says wholesale remains a priority. “It’s more important to develop our wholesale business and turn these partnerships into concessions. It’s important to nurture the UK market,” he said. Temperley has 20 UK stockists.

But international expansion is also in Garde Due’s plans, with Japan, southeast Asia and the US target markets. At present, US shoppers account for 25% of online sales.

Garde Due has strengthened the senior management team this year by appointing Colin Grimsdell as chief financial officer, Patricia Sancho as senior vice president global sales and Will Forrester as chief merchandising officer.

Garde Due declined to give full financial figures, but confirmed that Temperley’s first quarter was “very healthy” with retail sales up 26% and online up 56%.

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