Fashion brand Esprit will part ways with its creative duo Jan Nord and Jörgen Andersson. Coinciding with this news it was announced that the company made a loss for the first time in twenty years.
“Job has been done”
The artistic director and the brand director, who were brought into the company in 2010 to revitalise the clothing brand, are leaving to start a business as consultants. Fashionmag.com says Esprit will not be replacing the duo.
According to a spokesperson of the European headquarters of Esprit, the reason for their departure is simple: “the job has been done”. The duo outlined a future proof Esprit through collections, campaigns and concept stores; now the brand can focus on implementing their ideas for the reposition of the brand.
First loss since 1993
Almost simultaneously with the departure of Nord and Andersson, the company is showing a loss for the first time since 1993. In the first half of the financial year 2012-2013 the net result came down to a loss of 465 million Hong Kong dollar or 46 million euro below zero. In the same period of the last financial year there had been a profit of 555 million Hong Kong dollar.
Sales also dropped by no less than 13.4% to 13.554 billion dollar or 1.3 billion euro. Even when closed shops are not taken into account, sales would still drop by 8.8%. In Europe, still the most important market for Esprit, the drop in sales came to 9.1%, in Asia sales diminished by 7.2%.
The drop comes as no surprise: Esprit is currently working on a reorganisation plan, which will span four years. As a part of that project, the chain decided to bid the North American market farewell.
New boss has to cut costs
To turn the tide, Esprit brought in Jose Manuel Martínez Guttiérrez from Spanish Inditex. He wants to reposition the chainfocussing on better value for money and a better experience in the shops. Meanwhile Esprit announced some serious cuts to improve its financial performance.
To finance its plans, Esprit recently issued new shares worth 500 million euro. Interested investors could sign in at a discount of 36% on new stocks.