Aurora Fashions, which owns brands Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, is to break up the business in a move which will see its top team including chairman Derek Lovelock and chief executive Mike Shearwood depart the business.
Coast is to become a stand-alone business and Oasis and Warehouse will join together under a single parent company, Fresh Channel of which Oasis managing director Liz Evans has been appointed chief executive,
The senior Aurora management team will work together over the next 12 to 18 months to support the brands in the transition phase. After this Aurora will no longer exist and Shearwood, Lovelock and chief financial officer Richard Glanville will depart the business.
The transformation will make it easier for Aurora, whose biggest shareholder is failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing, to sell the womenswear brands in future.
Aurora chairman Derek Lovelock said: “Retailing is no longer about gearing your operating model around bricks and mortar, something we have realised as a result of our omni-channel success. Instead, our businesses must adapt and utilise a number of distribution channels to ensure we continue to capitalise on the changing global retail environment.”
Aurora said the move will create a new structure centred around an omnichannel model rather than traditional bricks and mortar, as is the retailers’ heritage.
Aurora chief executive Mike Shearwood said: “De-layering our businesses enables us to maximise the capabilities we have built through our channels over the last two years. This will allow us to create independent, agile organisations, where the management teams have full control and autonomy to deliver their strategies, so that they can provide their global customer base with more choice.”