- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - It seems as if consumers fears concerning increased prices for fashion goods as coming true as Karen Millen is one of the first British fashion retailers to raise their prices in response to currency fluctuations.
The premium womenswear retailer is set to increase its prices by 5 percent this autumn following growing costs linked to the weakened pound as part of its strategic review. However, Karen Millen's chief executive Beth Butterwick, who joined the teamed after a five-year tenure at Bonmarche, stressed shoppers will not notice the subsequential price increase. Karen Millen aims to ensure that its top end offering and entry level ranges remain relevantly the same and focus its price increase on its mid-range products.
Karen Millen to increase prices by 5 percent this autumn
"Our prices are going up about 5 percent in the autumn overall, but that's from an internal point of view," said Butterwick to the Press Association earlier this week. "From an external point of view, entry, and exit, I don't think the consumer will feel any different. It's about the prices at the mid-market where you can put some up, and there's still an option there for consumers to have different price points."
However, despite the price increase, Butterwick remains assured that the premium womenswear retailer will not suffer a loss of customers. She remains optimistic that other high-end shoppers will turn to Karen Millen as prices are set to rise across the fashion sector. "Consumers might scale down from luxury to premium, which is what we are," she added.
"So I think there is an opportunity for us certainly to capture consumers that perhaps once shopped in luxury and now want the quality but maybe the average disposable income has come down slightly." The announcement comes not long after Butterwick reveled a three leveled strategy for Karen Millen, which sees the retailer focusing on its product offering while carrying out a review of its global footprint.
At the moment Karen Millen counts 400 stores and concession stands across the globe, but Butterwick is aware that the premium womenswear retailer is stronger in certain markets than others. "It might be that we retract in some markets and we expand in others, and we’re going to go through that process and review over the next few months," she continued. "My role is very much focused on delivering the global strategic plan. I’ve been brought in head down to create the vision and the plan and deliver it."
But Karen Millen does not plan on implementing any changes that would result in mass store closures or place jobs at risks, she added. Rather the womenswear retailer plans on redefining and strengthening its current presence in its home market, the UK, where it counts 40 stores and 73 concessions. Karen Millen strategy review comes as speculation continues to swirl that majority owner Kaupthing, the failed Icelandic bank, is seeking a new owner for the premium womenswear retailer.
However, chief executive Paul Copley stressed the retailer is not for sale. "Kaupthing is under no pressure to sell Karen Millen and indeed it is not for sale. We are very focused on supporting the relatively new management team at Karen Millen in delivering its exciting long-term growth plan, which we consider is in the best interests of the business, Kaupthing, and our shareholders."
Photos: Karen Millen SS17, Lookbook