• Founder returns as advisor to LK Bennett
  • Profits under pressure
  • International operations increasingly important

LK - Linda – Bennett, founder of the fashion retailer she gave her name to, is returning to the business.

Bennett, famous for her kitten heel designs, is reported to have come back to the retailer in an advisory role as it ponders its next steps in a tough retail environment.

The entrepreneur, who opened her first shop in 1990 before selling up in 2008 to Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity in a £100m transaction, has been drafted in to advise by LK Bennett chief executive Darren Topp, the Telegraph reported.

Topp joined last autumn following the collapse of BHS, which he previously led.

Bennett will spend a day a week with the retailer’s design team to focus on her original vision of providing “a little bit of Bond St on the high street”.

LK Bennett was said to be likely to suffer a fall in earnings from £2.7m last year when it posts accounts this month. However, like-for-like sales are 7% higher in the new year, the newspaper reported.

Leading investors, headed by Phoenix and Bennett, recently pumped £5m into the business to fund expansion in the UK and abroad.

Forty openings are scheduled for next year.

LK Bennett made its debut in Russia this year and aims to open two shops in China soon.

International markets account for about 25% of the 130-store retailer’s revenues.