But the iconic store is set to benefit from an injection of French flair from new chief executive Geoffroy De la Bourdonnaye.
The engaging Frenchman, who has honed his luxury retail credentials at LVMH and Christian Lacroix, has found himself thrust to the forefront of ambitious plans to bolster Liberty’s reputation as a luxury brand both at home and overseas.
He cannot take credit or blame for the performance of Liberty during the six months to June 30, when it notched up pre-tax losses of£2.2 million, but all eyes are on him to make his mark on the slow and steady process of bringing the retailer back in to the black.
It should not be forgotten that De la Bourdonnaye is building on a strategy pioneered by predecessor Iain Renwick, who created own-label luxury accessories brand Liberty of London and was ousted in April. He is understood to have disagreed with chairman Ricahrd Balfour-Lynn about his plans to take the brand overseas.
So the news that destination department stores in fashion epicentres including New York, Tokyo, Milan and Munich, have snapped up a selected collection of the men’s version of the Liberty of London brand must be vindication to chairman Richard Balfour-Lynn.
But its chances of success overseas must be considered against its limited awareness on closer shores.
The process of showcasing the brand in the UK has begun with a sleek new-look central atrium devoted to the brand in the flagship store and plans for a standalone Liberty of London boutique at 197 Sloane Street.
The store, which will open in Spring next year, will no doubt boost its credentials among the well-heeled and well-travelled.
And where does the focus on the Liberty of London range leave the flagship store’s fortunes? Sales at the store on Great Marlborough Street were up 2 per cent in the six-month period, with womenswear lagging significantly behind, down 4 per cent.
But De la Bourdonnaye is already on the case, scouting for new exclusive womenswear brands this week at Milan Fashion Week. He has also employed hospitality and service guru Sara Edwards as HR director, to create an in-store experience with levels of service akin to “five star hotel” and e-commerce powerhouse Guy Hipwell to take the retailer in to the transactional sphere.
De la Bourdonnaye is the first to admit that it will be “no quick fix”, but the Liberty will no doubt start to shine with a little French polish.