Superdry founder Julian Dunkerton has called on investors to back his reappointment to the board to ensure the strongest possible trading over the key Christmas period.
In a call with investors, analysts and journalists, Dunkerton – who is supported by fellow founder James Holder – said that if he wins a seat at the boardroom table at an EGM next month he can start to make a difference at Superdry straight away, although a turnaround will take longer.
Dunkerton said: “We mustn’t be under any illusion – Christmas is key and we have to be ready for that.”
He said that his return would allow Superdry to act to minimise discounting, and maintained that the business had been turned into a ‘retailer’ rather than a ‘brand’.
He pledged rapid action to improve product. Dunkerton said: “James and I have Turkish factories ready to go and designs ready to go.”
He said that his “sole objective is to revive Superdry” and told investors: “Our interests are fully aligned with you.”
The EGM, to be held on April 2, will be a showdown between Dunkerton and the Superdry board, who oppose his return.
Dunkerton left the board in 2018, and has since claimed he was marginalised and taken issue with the retailer’s strategic direction.
A Superdry spokesperson said that the business had listened again to Dunkerton’s views but had heard nothing new and that its position was unchanged - that shareholders should vote against the resolutions to elect Dunkerton and Williams.
The retailer is committed to its existing strategy and says it has strong institutional support. Superdry maintains that Dunkerton’s return would damage the business and that Williams would not be independent.