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Mulberry plans for re-opening, cuts 25% of workforce

Lauretta Roberts
08 June 2020

Mulberry has revealed it is planning for a phased re-opening of its UK stores from Monday 15 June but the impact of the COVID-19 crisis has hit hard and it will cull 25% of its global workforce as a result.

The British luxury house said that since 24 March most of its stores had remained closed but it has been able to re-open in China and South Korea and, more recently, some stores in Europe and Canada. It had been trading online during the crisis but this had not been enough to offset lost store sales.

As a result the company had been taking steps to reduce costs and manage it capital. It said it had reduced inventory in anticipation of demand and had maintained a positive dialogue with its lenders to ensure it had a robust liquidity position.

However it said it had been necessary to enter into a consultation with its global workforce about the reduction of a quarter of its headcount.

"We reacted swiftly to manage the impact of COVID-19 and continue to execute a well-developed plan to manage capital, reduce costs and maintain a robust liquidity position," said CEO Thierry Andretta.

"In spite of the good performance of our sector leading digital and omni-channel platform, and our global network of digital concessions, the shutting of all our physical stores has had, and will continue to have, a marked effect on our business.

"Launching a consultation process has been an incredibly difficult decision for us to make but it is necessary for us to respond to these challenging market conditions, protect the maximum number of jobs possible and safeguard the future of the business. We remain confident in the strength of the Mulberry brand and our strategy over the long-term."

The house recently lost its creative director Johnny Coco who left to join Louis Vuitton as women’s fashion leather goods director for Louis Vuitton.

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