Walk down any high street or into a bar and you’ll almost certainly see one brand in evidence - Superdry.
The label has been one of the biggest fashion success stories of the past few years and rival fashion retailers have looked on with envy.
Now it is poised to be at the cutting edge once again. Brand owner Supergroup, which generated like-for-like growth of 29% over Christmas, is poised to become one of the first retailers in three years to launch an IPO.
Assuming no upsets, details of a main market listing, said to value the business at about £400m, are likely to be unveiled soon. That valuation would put Supergroup in the middle ranks of quoted retailers. Is it worth it?
Supergroup has a lot in its favour. As the Christmas numbers served to remind, it is growing. It has opened 17 of its 39 shops in the past 12 months. It has 34 concessions in House of Fraser stores and has been expanding internationally. Founded in 1985 with the creation of Cult Clothing, the business has demonstrated longevity, but the launch of Superdry in 2004 lit the fuse.
Potential investors have no doubt been impressed by the success of Superdry, but they will also want to be reassured its star will not fall as fast as it climbed.
The intentions and plans of the existing directors will also affect appetite. What stake do they intend to retain and how will their roles change?
With his entrepreneurial, market stall background, co-founder Julian Dunkerton shares a pedigree with some of the most successful retailers of the past decades and that will be a bonus in investors’ eyes. But potential shareholders will also want reassurance that the transition to public status will be smooth, so the shape of the board, including non-exec directors, will be a factor.
Businesses such as Ted Baker and French Connection are as much brands as retailers, and - despite the latter’s wild swings in fortune over the years - have frequently rewarded investors. The success of both should stoke interest in Supergroup as long as it can convince of enduring and not ephemeral fashion appeal.