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Julian Dunkerton begins implementing his strategy at Superdry

Lauretta Roberts
22 April 2019

Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton has started making his presence felt at Superdry following his re-instatement to the business after an audacious boardroom coup earlier this month.

The interim CEO is reported to have already dumped plans to introduce childrenswear and has cancelled a footwear licensing deal with Pentland Brands, The Sunday Times reported. Both of the initiatives were central planks of former CEO Euan Sutherland's plans to revive the brand.

Dunkerton – who left the business just over a year ago and began his campaign to be reinstated last autumn following a profits warning and a slump in the company's share price – had been vociferous in his criticism about the plan to launch childrenswear saying it would damage the brand's cool factor among its key teen target market. Around 200 wholesale accounts had apparently already ordered the collection.

The footwear license was part of Sutherland's plan to create a global licensing business for Superdry that would deliver an additional £!0m in annual profits.

It has been previously revealed that Superdry had contracted Dunkerton's co-founder James Holder to create new designs for the coming seasons. Holder's SuperDesign Lab is said to have created 250 designs already with between 500 and 1,000 to be introduced before Christmas.

Dunkerton and Holder co-founded Superdry 15 years ago and it was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2010. Dunkerton stood down as CEO in 2014, passing the reins to former Co-op boss Sutherland, to enable him to focus on product.

He left the business in March 2018 ostensibly to focus on his other business interests and charity work but it later emerged he had fallen out with the board over strategy. He launched a campaign to be reinstated in the autumn as the company's shares continued to sink in value following poor financial results.

His campaign was successful and at an EGM staged earlier this month he secured just over 50% of a shareholder vote to be returned to the business's board as interim CEO. Former Boohoo and ASOS chairman Peter Williams was also appointed and immediately made chairman.

All of the former board members of the company stood down after the vote.

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