Cath Kidston reveals 'digital-first' focus, will reopen Piccadilly store
Cath Kidston has shared details of its transformation plan following its administration filing and takeover earlier this year with the company to focus on international growth and digital channels.
The business restructured back in April and closed all of its UK shops, although it still has a 100-strong store estate abroad. But it said that online retail now accounts for 85% of its business and it wants to boost this digital presence as well as forge more international partnerships to be able to return to profitability in the next three years.
An important part of this will be the arrival of two new senior staff. Holly Marler was formerly design director at Liberty London and has taken over as creative director, which is key at a time when the product offer is being refocused.
And Rob Silsbury has joined from Dune where he was global e-commerce and marketing director. He’s now the firm’s digital director, a crucial post given the firm’s heavier skew to online sales.
Controlled by Baring Private Equity Asia, the company said that the work done in recent months means it now has an “economically viable operating model” with e-commerce sales being core to that.
The company plan is to trade on its British heritage – which is a strong selling point in many international markets, as well as at home – while also focusing on product innovation, streamlining its product offer, positioning itself as a key gifting destination (with category introductions to add to this positioning) and improving the online shopping experience.
This latter focus includes an upgraded e-commerce platform, cross-border payment and shopping enhancements that should open the brand to many more markets by year-end, and an improved CRM platform.
Although it has a number of shops outside of Britain, Cath Kidtson will be almost digital-only in its domestic market. The almost comes with the surprise news that next month it will reopen its flagship on Piccadilly in London. That store closed earlier in the year when non-essential shops were all forced to shut down temporarily and hadn't been expected to reopen.
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