Agent Provocateur in shock restructuring
There’s big change ahead for lingerie brand Agent Provocateur. The lingerie brand's owner, investment group 3i, is working on a complete restructuring of the firm and has written down the value of its investment, as well as having to give it a £4 million cash boost.
The news comes on the back of tough times for product sectors “exposed to … weaker consumer sentiment and decelerating tourist flows, which have reduced spending on discretionary consumer goods in Europe,” 3i said.
In its half-year results statement on Thursday, 3i said Agent Provocateur continues to be impacted by declining luxury spend in a number of its key markets. It added that the effect of this has been “compounded by the inconsistent execution of its recent store expansion programme and the discovery of accounting issues.”
But it gave no details as to what those accounting issues might be.
3i said it is supporting the new management team to put in place a new strategic plan, which involves a restructuring of the business. But it added that “Agent Provocateur is still a valuable brand and, as part of this restructuring, we have provided further investment of £4 million in the quarter to 30 September 2016. Reflecting these challenges, we reduced the value of our investment by £39m.”
The changes will mean store closures, job cuts at its HQ and a “phase down” of its L’Agent diffusion line. It is also believed there will be a new focus on wholesale and a targeting of key Asian markets.
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