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Ultimo to wind up UK operations

Luxury lingerie brand Ultimo, founded by Baroness Michelle Mone, is to cease trading in the UK.

The business is winding up its UK operations after an extensive review of the business and its 11 staff have entered a formal redundancy consultation period.

Its website will continue trading until 15 April.

Staff at Ultimo’s headquarters in East Kilbride in Scotland were informed of the decision today (10 April), as well as the brand’s retail partners, suppliers and other key stakeholders.

Ultimo will continue to manufacture and sell product under the Ultimo brand in south Asia.

A spokesman for the company said: “The last few years have been extremely challenging for Ultimo, driven by increasing competition in the market and more cautious consumer spending due to the uncertainty surrounding the UK economy over the last 18 months.

“Having reviewed the business’ performance over the last three years as well as future prospects and considering the retail environment within which the business is operating; the board has, with regret, decided to cease operations of the Ultimo business in the UK.”

The spokesman added that the company “would like to thank all staff, customers and suppliers for their commitment, support and loyalty to the Ultimo brand over the years.”

While Ultimo UK operations will be wound up at the end of June, the company confirmed it will honour all financial commitments with suppliers and partners, and the rights of consumers will also be unaffected.

Ultimo will continue to be sold while stocks last online at House of Fraser, Very, Asos, Next, Debenhams, Bravissimo, Amazon, JD Williams, Figleaves, Zalando, TK Maxx, Lingerie Outlet and a number of small independent stores.

Ultimo had a pre-tax loss of £3.9m for the year to 31 December 2016 and warned that further losses lay ahead. Sales for the period were £2.2m. 

Ultimo was founded by Mone in 1996.

Sri-Lankan based MAS Holdings acquired a majority shareholding in Ultimo’s parent, Ultimo Brands International Ltd, in 2014. Mone resigned from her directorship at the business in 2015.

MAS Holdings claims to be the largest apparel and textile manufacturer in south Asia, with revenue of £1.7bn. It operates 50 manufacturing facilities across 16 countries, and staffs more than 88,000 people.


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