Jun 10, 2019
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Cambridge Satchel Company focuses on China as sales fall

Jun 10, 2019

The Cambridge Satchel Company has posted losses for the fourth year in a row, hurt by falling sales and squeezed margins.

Cambridge Satchel Company

The company, which has stores in London, Brighton, Cambridge and Edinburgh, has reported pre-tax losses of £1.5 million in the year ending June 2018, compared to losses of £746,000 a year earlier. Turnover fell 4% to £11.2 million during the period, the company’s latest accounts filed with Companies House reveal.

Founded in 2008, the accessories brand was dubbed the ‘British It Bag’ in 2010 when scores of celebrities and influencers were seen wearing the signature leather crossbody bag. British style influencer Alexa Chung was among those contributing to its popularity and high-profile collaborations also made it an in-demand label. 

But the brand set up by founder Julie Deane has been struggling in recent years, as trends have moved away from satchels and towards belt bags, backpacks, and mini bags, as well as lightweight fabric offerings. The company has also faced competition from cheaper labels offering satchel styles.

The Cambridge Satchel Company said it is now focusing on the Chinese market, where it has established a business network and launched a dedicated website.

“The Chinese market is important to the brand and the directors feel that spending time and money on developing a solid base from which to grow is the correct approach,” said Julie Deane in the financial report.

The brand also took advantage of its 10th anniversary to launch special collections and a new product range.

A spokesman told Mail on Sunday: “Although the company experienced losses in the year to June 18, this was the second phase of the company’s turnaround plan and results in the current year are much improved thanks to the actions taken in 2018.”

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