London Fashion Week got underway in the capital this week and the British Fashion Council gamely tried to pull together an event that was a blend of physical and digital activations but with the COVID infections on the rise, most designers stayed away from the traditional show format opting instead for private appointments and video.
That said the fashion on offer was optimistic and defiant in the face of a virus that could lead us to another national lockdown. Those retailers who limped through the last one and emerged as the walking wounded may not make it through another, but the industry is full of surprises.
New Look had been expected to lose its plea to enter into another CVA this week and convert the vast bulk of its stores to turnover based rents. However, in the end it was waved through by creditors, presumably with gritted teeth, as they reasoned a chain of its size collapsing would be worse than the precedent it set for other, smaller chains to start making the same demands.
The week started with the biggest surprise of all, an apology from Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia to staff who are facing redundancy. Green’s group had attempted to base their redundancy payouts on their furlough-level salaries but was forced into a u-turn. Unite the union said it was unprecedented for the group to apologise to staff in this manner.
See below for more interesting facts from fashion told through the numbers that matter:
Number of staff Arcadia is making redundant at its HQ. They will now receive full pay-offs after the group u-turned on plans to pay them based on furlough salary levels.
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group unveiled plans for a £100m staff incentive scheme that will pay out if its shares hit £10 for a sustained period over the next four years.
The Treasury announced plans to end tax-free sales on electronics and clothes at airports, after the UK leaves the EU meaning they will be subject to 20% VAT. Retailers are not happy.
The amount Permira paid for British boot brand Dr Martens in 2014. It is now apparently investigating the possibility of an IPO.
Discount retailer TK Maxx claims it has now over-taken Arcadia’s Topshop to claim the place of the UK’s sixth most popular fashion retailer.
Total retail football declined -6.3% in the week children returned to school and staycations were over.
The amount Next will own in a new JV to control the UK arm of US lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret
The number of jobs that have been preserved thanks to New Look securing the backing of creditors for its CVA.
The amount Zara owner Inditex’s sales slid in the last quarter due to COVID-19, however it’s back in profit thanks to strong digital sales.
The amount above the IPO price that The Hut Group shares traded as it entered the London Stock Exchange, valuing it at £5.6bn.
The amount by which Next’s profits crashed in the first half of the year, however it had expected a loss and is expecting to be in profit at year end.
The value of the bonus John Lewis staff will receive next March after it reported losses of £635m for the six months to 25 July, the figure was impacted by a £470 million write-down on its stores.
The amount by which fashion sales remain down on pre-pandemic levels, according to The Office for National Statistics.
The number of guests allowed per bench at the new socially distanced catwalks shows, of which there were few, at London Fashion Week.
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