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Esprit navigates tough 2022, gears up for brand relaunch

By Prachi Singh


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Image: Courtesy of Esprit

Esprit Holdings Limited reported total sales of 7,063 million Hong Kong dollars and a gross profit margin of 40.7 percent for 2022 fiscal year, down 15 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.

The company faced the challenging fiscal year as it prepares for the official brand relaunch in mid-2023.

Commenting on the trading performance, Pak William Eui Won, executive director, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of the company, said: "Despite an occasional slowdown in our performance impacted by various external factors, the company and management team are consistently building a solid foundation for recovery . The company has launched a number of initiatives throughout the year and has already developed exciting new plans for 2023 in retail, omnichannel, marketing, product and information technology (IT) areas."

Esprit faces tough 2022, initiates growth measures

During the year under review, the company said in a statement, Esprit faced an unfavourable economic environment, especially in Germany. Exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and over-reliance on Russian natural gas, energy prices soared triggering a sharp surge in inflation. This caused interest rates to rise and currency fluctuations to affect consumer spending.

To overcome these challenges, the management team has continued to focus on improving operational efficiencies while reducing obsolete inventory in preparation for the planned brand relaunch.

The company said that it remained essentially debt free and recorded cash, bank balances and deposits of 2,012 million Hong Kong dollars at the end of the year.

Esprit highlights initiatives for 2022 and new plans for 2023

In late 2022, the company moved its global creative headquarters to New York City (NYC). The new headquarters in New York City houses the brand's global design, branding, creative and marketing teams, as well as a showroom and photo studio.

Esprit returned to the US with an LA pop-up store in Beverly Hills, followed by a NYC pop-up store in Soho, which has paved the way for the official brand relaunch planned for mid-2023. The company added that the focus is on modernising brand heritage and values ​​for today's consumer in a way that transcends generations.

The company plans to open additional pop-up stores through 2023, building on the success of pop-up stores in Los Angeles, New York City, Hong Kong and Seoul. The first flagship store in the US will open in the third quarter of 2023 on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles. The redesign of an Esprit flagship store in Düsseldorf, Germany is expected to be completed in mid-2023, a first redesign in more than ten years.

The company has also launched e-shops in several new key markets including America, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore.

“In a challenging global business environment, the ongoing initiatives and new plans for 2023 are strategic opportunities for Esprit's growth. The company has a solid financial base with a healthy balance sheet that allows it to invest when good opportunities arise,” added Chiu Christin Su Yi, the company’s chairman and executive director.