Matches has said it will focus on getting the brand back to profitability and growing “customer love” amid its turnaround strategy after a full-year loss and decline in revenue.

Nick Beighton, CEO at MATCHES Portrait by Trisha Ward

Source: Trisha Ward

Nick Beighton: ‘It was really important to take decisive action to build on the brand’s strengths’

Matches, previously known as Matchesfashion, posted an adjusted EBIT loss of £33.7m for the full year to January 31, 2023, compared to a loss of £25m in the previous year.

The luxury retailer also reported revenue of £380.1m for the year, down 1.7% year-on-year from £386.6m.

During the year, boss Paolo de Cesare stepped down and Nick Beighton was named chief executive, closely followed by a string of appointments including David Murray as chief financial officer, Carl Tallents as chief commercial officer and Andrea Trocino as chief product and technology officer.

Matches said it is making “good progress” on its three-year turnaround strategy, launched after Beighton took the reins, with a focus on “getting the fundamentals right” including sharpening its brand curation, improving availability, reducing complexity, increasing operational efficiency and bolstering technological enhancements.

Beighton told Retail Week the retailer has started to deliver “green shoots of progress” as part of its turnaround efforts.

He said: “You can see why it was really important to take decisive action to build on the brand’s strengths, get back to some basic disciplines, strengthen the foundations of the brand and turn the brand around. Those results are evidence of what we needed to do.

“We have done a rebrand and we have sharpened how we show up so that every part of the customer journey is unmistakenly Matches. There is a consistent thread of creative, design and branding throughout.

“We have also done a lot of work on enhancing our partners. We are working with luxury brands with a similar customer base and a similar perspective and we are going to announce a couple [of new partnerships] in the next few weeks.”

Beighton’s input in the Matches collections is anticipated to come through in the spring/summer 2024 range, the majority of which is yet to launch online and will appear throughout this autumn/winter season.

Beighton said Matches is in “good shape” for the next three months and over the Christmas period.

He added: “Our mission is to get the brand back to profitability, enhance customer love and get the brand where it should be, and that is what we are planning to do.

“The key priority for us is to show up well in front of our customers, make sure we meet expectations on same-day and next-day delivery, we’ve got a great edit available already and we are looking for a strong occasionwear season. 

“I’m looking for a strong Christmas and a good clearance in the new year before rolling into the new season.

“Into next year, we will be sharpening the edit even further and improving our availability. We will be looking to reduce our brand portfolio from around 900 to around 450 brands, including homeware.

”If we reduce the number of brands that we work with, not only do we sharpen the edit but we have the chance to get deeper with those brands and improve our overall availability.”