Allders ready to unleash designer brands

Department store group Allders will lift the lid on its exclusive designer brand stable next month, with the launch of the first of several home and fashion brands.

Allders boss Terry Green, who is credited with the successful Designers at Debenhams strategy, has assembled a string of top names - including Edina Ronay, Clements Ribeiro and renowned textile designer Celia Birtwell - to speed the chain's turnaround.

'There will be no specific big-bang launch,' said Green. 'They will come in at different times. It depends on the merchandise, availability and when we struck the deal.'

Allders' traditional mainstay is in homewares, and Birtwell, the wife and muse of late designer Ossie Clark, is to produce a homewares collection.

The fashion offer will be boosted further by womenswear from Mark Whitaker and Gaby Harris, best known for her Studd Label. The first stock is expected to arrive next month.

Green, whose Scarlett Retail consortium took control of the chain in February 2002, has pledged to return the business to profit by the end of this financial year. He has already introduced 10 own-brand labels, including Scarlett, Zona and Ocean Bay, and concessionaires such as Carpetright.

In the nine months to June 28, 2003, Allders made a£55.8 million operating loss after restructuring and writing down assets and old stock.