German sportswear retailer Puma is exiting all but one of its UK stores as part of a major international disposal programme.
The retailer, owned by French retail group PPR, will close 12 UK shops, leaving only its flagship store on London’s Carnaby Street.
It is understood Puma has retained agent Kitchen La Frenais Morgan to dispose of its UK portfolio, which also includes shops at Manchester’s Arndale Centre, Meadowhall and on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street.
A Puma spokesman told Retail Week the retailer was implementing a “cost reduction programme” across the company that would involve “evaluating and streamlining its existing store portfolio”, but declined to comment on what store closures this would lead to.
In its first quarter Puma reported comparable sales fell 0.8 per cent worldwide but fell most sharply in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, by 3 per cent to €366m (£319m). Before restructuring costs, pre-tax profit was down to €112.4m (£98m) from €126.8m (£110.5m) the previous year.
Puma said it expected its worldwide cost reduction programme to yield savings of €150m (£130.7m) in the 2011 financial year. The retailer is also understood to be scaling back its international portfolio, with closures in France and Germany expected.
Puma chief executive Jochen Zeitz said at the results: “We have decided to implement further measures to align our cost structure with the current market environment, ensuring a platform for profitable growth in the future.”
Kitchen La Frenais Morgan was unavailable for comment.