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Neil Clifford

Chief executive, Kurt Geiger

Neil Clifford shocked the sector when he didn’t put in a bid to buy main rival Shoe Studio Group after its collapse into administration earlier this year.

Most thought a Kurt Geiger rescue was a foregone conclusion but it turned out not to be necessary. Some fancy footwork from this most-connected of retailers saw him pick up Shoe Studio’s Nine West licensing agreement, one of the business’s most valuable assets - adding a potential £45m of additional turnover to existing sales of £161m.
A new contract to open concessions in Debenhams was a brave move by Clifford given his relationship with House of Fraser, but it certainly makes the business less vulnerable to the ongoing department store wars.

Continued investment in product design and a raft of sub-brands has put clear water between Kurt Geiger and its specialist rivals too. EBITDA is on track to hit £14m this financial year.

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