Global retail brand,Superdry, which has its headquarters in Cheltenham, is to take back full control of its brand in China.
Following a review of its long-term business plan it said it had reached an amicable agreement with its current local partner, Trendy International, to exit their joint venture, Trendy and Superdry Holding Limited. This will leave Superdry free to determine how it will trade in China in the future.
While the decision is part of the company’s transformation plan as it seeks to reset the brand, it admits it has been accelerated by the impact of COVID-19. The joint venture was formed in 2016 and has 25 owned and 41 franchise stores in China. The owned retail stores are due to close by the end of August, while the franchise partners in China will end their relationships by the end of the year.
Superdry launched in China in September 2015 with a catwalk show at the British embassy in Beijing. In partnership with Trendy International Group which has around 3000 stores on the mainland, Superdry originally planned to open two to five stores in the first year.
Superdry anticipates that approximately £6 million will be written off in its FY20 accounts as a result. It is not currently expected that Superdry will incur further costs of closure or need to inject additional material cash to support the wind-up of operations.
Julian Dunkerton, Chief Executive Officer, said: “I believe that China represents a huge opportunity for Superdry in the longer term. As the way people are shopping there changes, it makes sense for us to shift our focus to the growth channels of online and wholesale. Combined with the improvements we are making to our product ranges, I am confident that this is the right time.”