Esprit says it's "revitalised" with big plans afoot
International fashion retailer Esprit has announced that it’s been “revitalised” with a “series of exciting developments in the pipeline”. With a new product chief on board, it’s “set to launch new capsule collections drawing on its rich history and brand heritage”.
It’s part of its renewed focus on the Asian market seen after it relocated its headquarters back to Hong Kong earlier this year.
On Thursday it announced the the appointment of its new Chief Product Officer (CPO), Sang Langill, several months after he actually joined the firm. It said this key appointment has “spurred the creation of a series of new capsule collections” and saw it “adjusting the group’s strategy to focus on its e-commerce expansion”.
Company chair Chiu Christin Su Yi said: “Sang will take on the global leadership of the product and merchandising side of the business. I have great confidence and expectations for Sang and his team to introduce new innovation and creativity to Esprit’s product offering to not only drive sales but to also help our brand better engage with customers in a meaningful way.”
Both before and since his arrival, the company “has continuously been enhancing its products in terms of design and quality, focusing on apparel that last longer and in turn, are more environmentally friendly and sustainable”.
The result of this is that it will launch a series of new omnichannel capsule collections throughout 2022. And it said they comprise “not just apparel products; they have been lovingly designed around themes infused with Esprit’s DNA, ultimately aiming to ignite a sense of nostalgia with the customer and to evoke memories of love, joy and happiness that they shared with Esprit”.
By focusing on the brand’s story back in the late 1970s through the 1990s, “the team hopes to bring its colourful heritage and successes into the modern age, reminding customers of Esprit’s long history as a leader in fashion, encouraging them to feel the same way that its designers do about the brand and their creations”.
For the future, e-commerce will be Esprit’s “key strategic pillar for its global ambitions. The group is now looking into leveraging its e-commerce partnerships and expansion of its own proprietary direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform to accelerate this growth driver in Asia”.
It’s also accelerating its first-party data capture and smart use of data “to increase brand awareness and strengthen customer loyalty”. And it promised “many more exciting developments to come”.
The company has been through a turbulent few years even before the pandemic, but seems to be feeling more optimistic than it has done for some time. For the six months ended 30 June (during which time it underwent a number of operational changes), Esprit recorded a turnaround from loss to profit for the first time since the annual results for the year ended 30 June 2017.
Unaudited profit attributable to the shareholders of the company was approximately HK$121 million (€14m/£11m/US$15m), compared with an unaudited loss of HK$3.661 billion for the prior corresponding period.
This positive result was partly due to stringent cost control measures, a “significant reduction in losses for exceptional items and the improvement in sales, particularly from its e-commerce channels.”
It also said EBIT turned positive to HK$164 million, a substantial improvement in performance reversing the HK$3.119 billion for the comparable six months period ended 30 June 2020.
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