Ultimo lingerie to exit UK market, will continue in Asia
Lingerie company Ultimo is to exit the UK with the website to be shuttered on April 15 while its concessions have already been closed. The brand will continue to operate in South Asia.
In the last year for which accounts are available (the 12 months to December 2016), the company lost £3.9 million on sales of just £2.2 million and said that it expected more losses in the 2017 financial year.
The brand was founded by Tory peer Baroness Mone of Mayfair but she left in 2015 and the closure decision was taken by its current owner, Sri Lanka-based manufacturing giant MAS Holdings, which acquired a controlling stake in 2014.
The brand was launched in 1996 and its media-friendly founder and use of celebrity models such as Penny Lancaster and Rachel Hunter gave it an instant publicity boost and seemed to set it up for a successful future.
But the company said it has been through a number of challenging years in the UK, “driven by increasing competition in the market and more cautious consumer spending".
It has just 11 staff at its Scottish HQ and they have now started formal redundancy consultations.
The operation will finally be wound up by June with the company saying it will meet all commitments to suppliers, partners and customers.
The brand has been sold though a variety of UK stores including big names House of Fraser, Debenhams, Next, Asos, Bravissimo and Amazon, among others.
News of the closure comes as the fashion retail sector remains under pressure with New Look having entered a CVA, multiple retailers reportedly in talks to cut their rent bills, Mothercare believe to be planning a CVA and East having gone under.
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