Mulberry replica bags larger profits after price cuts

— Luxury replica handbag firm sees 8% rise in sales after wooing back customers, and plans to open more factories in UK

luxury-mulberry-handbags
Replica Bags from Mulberry’s latest collection.

Profits at the British handbag maker Mulberry replica have recovered after it cut prices and spruced up its ranges to win back customers.

Mulberry’s efforts to become a more affordable luxury replica handbags brand appear to be paying off, following a disastrous move upmarket in recent years. It now intends to open more factories in the UK as revenues rise.

Profits before tax rose to £6.2m in the year to 31 March, from £1.9m the previous year. Retail sales climbed 8% to £118.7m while wholesale revenues dipped slightly to £37.2m from £38.8m.

Like-for-like sales were up 8% last year but growth has slowed in the 11 weeks to 11 June, to 4%. Many luxury retailers are struggling, such as Burberry, Giorgio Armani and Hugo Boss, as demand has suffered as a result of the economic slowdown in China.

Mulberry said the first collection from its new creative director, Johnny Coca, who was recruited from Céline, at London fashion week in February had been well received by the press and the company’s partners. It started arriving in shops in April and the whole collection will be in stores by August.

The Somerset-based firm said 70% of its replica handbags uk were priced between £500 and £995, compared with less than half in 2014. They include the bestselling Bayswater and the Lily, named after model Lily Cole. Mulberry has brought the style and pricing of shoes and ready-to-wear collections into line with replica bags.

The firm has pushed through production efficiencies at its factories in Chilcompton and Bridgwater, which produce half of its replica handbags. As they are close to capacity, there are plans to open a third factory in Britain. “The brand’s British DNA is emphasised as a point of distinction,” Mulberry said.

The company opened a new flagship store in Paris last year, replacing a smaller one, and closed three stores in the US. It plans to open fewer stores in coming years to focus on improving shops and its digital business.

Digital sales rose 19% to £21.4m last year, boosted by a website upgrade and improved delivery. They now account for 14% of group sales, compared with 12% in 2015 and 10% in 2014. About half of this comes from mobile phones and tablets.

Nivindya Sharma, senior analyst at consultancy Verdict Retail, said: “There is much more potential for growth especially as Mulberry outlet uk plans to extend its digital offer into key international markets through local language websites and local fulfilment over the next few years.”

She said with Coca’s efforts to modernise the brand while respecting its heritage, Mulberry was on its way to regaining its trademark “classic but cool” credentials.

“Mulberry has made significant progress during the last financial year with solid growth achieved in revenues and profit,” said Thierry Andretta, the chief executive.

“Our UK manufacturing base has remained a core strength and point of distinction. We have built a strong foundation for future growth as a result of the investment made in product design and development as well as our omni-channel infrastructure.”

Mulberry replica bag takes place of baby Jesus in nativity campaign

— Mulberry has created a light-hearted film reimagining the nativity for its 2015 Christmas campaign.

The two-minute film, created by Adam & Eve/DDB, features a man giving his wife a replica Mulberry Bayswater bag for Christmas. Once she has opened the present, a succession of visitors come to pay their respects to the bag.

As the two shepherds and then three wise men arrive, it slowly becomes clear that the bag has taken the place of Jesus in the nativity story.

The film will be accompanied by social media activity and a competition through the Mulberry website.

Anne Marie Verdin, the brand director at Mulberry outlet uk, said: “Everyone at Mulberry loves Christmas and every year we like to put out an amusing tongue-in-cheek little story about how difficult it is to get Christmas right.

“Our research shows that men are particularly nervous about the consequences of getting it wrong. We like to make people smile in the run up to their hopefully… perfect Christmas.”

At Adam & Eve/DDB the copywriter was Aidan McClure and the art director was Laurent Simon. The spot was directed by James Rouse through Outsider.

Rick Brim, an executive creative director at Adam & Eve/DDB, said: “I don’t think you can underestimate that joyous moment when you receive the gift of a Mulberry replica handbag. So with that in mind this idea is simple, funny and couldn’t be more Christmassy if it tried.”

Last year Adam & Eve/DDB also created a humorous online film for Mulberry’s Christmas campaign. The 2014 ad showed a grandma “winning” Christmas by giving her granddaughter a Mulberry bag as a present.

Johnny Coca: In The Mulberry Bag Interview

Being tasked with reversing the sartorial fortunes of a brand considered as a national institution is no mean feat, but the verdict on Johnny Coca’s tenure at Mulberry outlet to date? So far, so good. As he approaches his one-year anniversary, we caught up with fashion’s boy wonder to see how he’s getting on – from reinventing classics, to introducing the new bag du jour.

mulberry-replica

 

How has your first year at Mulberry been?

“Very, very busy! As soon as I arrived I spent time at our factories in Somerset and with the design team in London, working and working on the first new product and the February show. Now the show is done and we are onto the next season and the one after that. There is so much to do!”

Have there been any surprises that you weren’t expecting?

“Not that it’s surprising, but how much people love replica Mulberry – that was really noticeable when I got to London. I see Mulberry everywhere when I’m out and about and people are always telling me about their own Mulberry replica bags when they find out what I do.”

Having worked in the background for a long time, how are you finding being the frontman for a house?

“It’s an amazing opportunity. To have a 360-degree view of a brand and all of its collections. As creative director, it is my job to push the boundaries, while always respecting the legacy. I came to Mulberry to help bring a British fashion and lifestyle brand into a new era. Mulberry outlet uk is also the leading leather goods manufacturer in the UK. We are now designing with more of a focus on the original lifestyle approach: ready-to-wear, shoes, jewellery, travel, as well as leather accessories for men and women. I will measure success by how much this new design era can appeal to the global customers of today.”

Coco-Capitan-vogue-26may16_b

Were you daunted coming on board and redesigning famous silhouettes, such as the Bayswater?

“I always try to remember that it’s truly an honour to be trusted with a brand that people love. Mulberry replica is such a British institution and our customers really feel passion for the brand and for our bags. The Bayswater is one example: it’s a Mulberry replica icon. But all icons evolve and we’ve tried to make the new Bayswater as relevant as possible for women today. It’s the small changes that make a big difference – the inside pocket is easier to get to on the front, and we’ve reinforced the lining with beautiful suede to give the overall bag more structure. The Bayswater is a bag for every day and I wanted to make sure it could be the best it could be.”

mulberry-style
Coca taking his bow at Mulberry’s autumn/winter 2016 show in London

Tell us about your direction for your new bag creation, the Maple.

“The Maple isn’t gimmicky, it is just a well-made tote that carries all the things you need day to day – the size was deliberately specified to fit A4 documents and laptops. Its beauty is in its structure – the simplicity of the form and the careful addition of details, like the detachable front pocket. It’s perfect for running out to get a coffee and for those times when you don’t need to take your whole bag with you.”

A replica designer bag is a statement for the wearer – how does the design of the Maple, and your other bags, reflect you as the designer and the new direction of Mulberry?

“I want to focus on the construction of replica bags – and the shoes, and the ready-to-wear! In a way, when I’m designing, it’s like I’m designing a building. I studied architecture so structure and form really resonate with me. It’s all very well designing a beautiful bag, but it needs to be functional, useful, too.”

What are your thoughts as a designer on the see-now-buy-now model?

“I think that increasingly people do want instant access to the new and exciting. The shows and campaigns are now instant and all on social media straight away. But we are very lucky at cheap Mulberry – by having two factories in the UK, we can produce collections in line with customer demand. However, we also like to work with the press and buyers to really create the stories and desire for the brand, which means leaving some lead time. So we will do it the fake Mulberry way: continuing seasonal collections but having select product and capsule collections immediately available.”

How do you plan to evolve your designs from autumn/winter 2016 to spring/summer 2017?

“It’s important for me to always reference British design details and for both collections you’ll notice inspiration from traditional tailoring, iconic hardware and classic silhouettes. Colour is also so important to me – I think it’s part of being Spanish! Different leathers take colour in different ways and it’s been interesting to work with new materials and really offer vivid, rich colour choices for our customers.”