Home shopping group Freemans Grattan Holdings claims it has returned to profit after a major business restructuring, and plans to launch a plus-size offer for customers early next year.
The retailer, the UK arm of German home shopping giant Otto Group, is now focusing on online sales and moving further from its traditional catalogue or agency customer as the restructure is complete.
Freemans chief executive Koert Tulleners could not reveal profit figures as its parent is listed in Germany, but said: “We have not grown sales in the last year but are now profitable.”
This comes after Freemans, formerly Otto UK, cut about two thirds of its UK staff to make it a more streamlined operation.
“We are in a better position after many years of losses,” Tulleners said.
He added that the completion of the turnaround meant it could invest in new brands and propositions. Next year Freemans will launch an online and catalogue concept for plus-size customers to take advantage of the growing plus-size market.
According to Mintel, sales of plus-sized womenswear have rocketed 45% in the past five years and it predicts the market will reach £3.8bn this year.
Evans is also launching an online branded offer for plus-size teenagers as revealed in Retail Week (August 13).
Tulleners said that its offer would work in conjunction with its German parent, which already has a plus-size offer. A name for the site is yet to be decided.
Freemans will seek to drive more sales online. “Nearly 50% of our business is done online,” said Tulleners. This compares with about 30% two years ago.
“Our newer propositions are already doing very well online, Bon Prix for example now gets 55% of its sales from online,” Tulleners added.
In May, Freemans was given a £10m cash injection from its parent group to help stem losses at the business.