Superdry co-founder attacks management after weak update
Superdry’s co-founder launched another attack on the firm’s current management on Thursday after the retailer delivered its latest trading update.
Julian Dunkerton, who remains the under-performing retailer’s biggest shareholder, said it was the “weakest” performance in the firm’s 34-year history, that it was a “damning indictment of Superdry's misguided strategy” and that “action must be taken.”
The company had posted a sales fall for the latest quarter with even its web sales dropping, and while it said its transformation plan is proceeding, the befits from this are still some way off.
But Dunkerton believes the firm current strategy of reducing the number of products available is “failing dismally” and that compared to “the group's peers, who have been exposed to the same external factors, [its] numbers are very disappointing.”
Opinion seems to be divided on whether he’s right though. The company’s shares rose on Thursday after the update was released, so investors clearly drew some comfort from the report. And there have been reports that shareholders aren’t exactly crying out for Dunkerton to make a comeback at the company.
But some analysts supported his view and also expressed concern with Wayne Brown, an analyst at Liberum, saying the “performance is by far the worst in the branded clothing segment” and spoke of a “worst case scenario in our view” regarding sales.
While Superdry and its board have said their problems started back when Dunkerton was in charge of design, Liberum seemed to support him and questioned the firm’s current strategy. It said that the specific problems for a company that was achieving the highest growth rates in the industry 18 months ago began since “since the launch of the new strategy in September 2017 and we ask how bad do things have to get before the board steps in and reverses some of these decisions.”
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