Superdry ends China JV, shuts stores as online, wholesale become focus
Superdry is to take back control of its China operations, the UK fashion retailer said Thursday. Following a review of its “long-term business plan”, Superdry said it has reached an "amicable agreement” with its current local partner Trendy International to exit their joint venture (JV). “This will leave Superdry free to determine how it will trade in China in the future,” it said.
The JV, which was formed in 2016, currently has 25 owned and 41 franchise stores in China. However, the owned retail stores are due to close by the end of August, while the franchise partners “will end their relationships by the end of the year”, it said.
Superdry anticipates that around £6 million will be written off in its FY20 accounts as a result, it added.
The JV exit is part of Superdry's transformation plan for the group, “putting in place the right infrastructure and business models in each of its core markets, and has been accelerated by the impact of Covid-19”.
Recognising it has many loyal customers in China and, as it resets its brand, Superdry said it “will assess the right operating model for China to maintain a presence in what remains a large and attractive market”.
CEO Julian Dunkerton said: “I believe that China represents a huge opportunity for Superdry in the longer term. As the way people are shopping there changes, it makes sense for us to shift our focus to the growth channels of online and wholesale. Combined with the improvements we are making to our product ranges, I am confident that this is the right time for us to take back full control of our brand in China and to re-position our operations in the region to deliver profitable future growth for Superdry.”
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