Jane Norman has embarked on a radical overhaul of its business in an attempt to target a younger, more fashionable customer.
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The fashion retailer has revamped its product and shopfit and is considering refreshing its logo.
Ian Findlay - who was promoted to managing director of the business in February after chief executive of 16 years Saj Shah took early retirement - said the business was “stale”.
He said: “We needed to bring in newness, particularly for the younger customer who expects more fashion more often.”
In the year to March 28, 2009 Jane Norman took a hit to profits when EBITDA almost halved to £15.8m following a poor reaction to its product ranges and subsequent discounting. The profit drop has since stabilised, with a slight dip to £15.3m EBITDA for the year to March 27, 2010. Total sales were £144.1m in the 2010 year compared with £148.8m the year before.
Findlay declined to provide figures on current trading but said that, in line with the market, trade was “tough”.
Last week Jane Norman launched its high summer range, which is more catwalk inspired.
Findlay said: “We have been working with our supply base to ensure that the product is fresh, new and fashionable with increased quality while still offering value for money. We are watching the catwalks more closely. We want to be the first on the high street with trends.”
The retailer has opened its first UK store to feature the revamped shopfit in Cheapside in the City. It will refurbish elements of its 90 standalone stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Findlay said: “We will align the stores to the brand, bring in some glamour and fun, and maybe some velvet and more colours.”
Jane Norman wants to increase the proportion of its product designed in-house from 10% to 30% within two to three years. At present 90% of product is designed by its suppliers. The move would benefit margins, speed to market and take advantage of stronger designer knowledge in-house.