Mulberry has cheered a “strong” reaction to the relaunch of its Alexa bag, as the firm showed sales have been hurt by the pandemic but were improving ahead of the current lockdown.
The accessories firm, led by Thierry Andretta, has seen trade suffer due to lockdowns, with stores shut for months earlier this year, and branches in England that closed in early November only being allowed to reopen next week.
In June the firm said it would look to reduce its workforce by 25% as it sought to reduce its cost base during the virus crisis.
In the first half Mulberry recorded a adjusted pre-tax loss of £1.9 million, compared to a £10.1 million loss a year earlier.
Revenue in the six months to September 26 dropped 29% to £48.9 million. Sales in the first quarter fell 39% and trading improved in the second quarter as sales declined 18%.
Aim-listed Mulberry added that trends experienced in the second quarter continued into October, with “improving stores sales, a strong digital performance and continuing growth in Asia”.
Earlier this month the company relaunched its famous tote, originally inspired by TV presenter and model Alexa Chung, in sustainable leather. Mulberry said: “ We have been very pleased by the strong reaction to this relaunch.”
Andretta told the Evening Standard that over 1000 of the Alexa bags have sold since the launch in the week starting November 9. They each cost between £895 and £1295.
Andretta said: “As we look to the future, we remain confident in our strategy and in the relevance and durability of the Mulberry brand. There are of course many obstacles ahead, not least the upcoming changes to tax-free shopping in the UK that could hamper the wider retail and economic recovery, but we are grateful to be able to open our doors again in England on 2 December and to be able to trade across all our platforms in this crucial Christmas trading period.”
It emerged last week that Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has increased its stake in Mulberry.