Luxury brand replica Mulberry has fashioned a jump in sales and profits for the last year as shoppers were won over by new creative designer Johnny Coca’s replica handbags.
Mulberry said that its updated and lightweight version of its classic Bayswater leather handbag had become an “instant bestseller”, which boosted sales by 8pc to ￡168.1m during the year to the end of March.
Pre-tax profits also jumped by 21pc to ￡7.5m, heralding a significant turnaround from two years ago, when it was dogged by profit warnings and the loss of a creative director and chief executive.
Thierry Andretta, who joined cheap Mulberry last year, said that there was “good momentum” within the company.
Digital sales rose by almost 20pc to make up 15pc of sales as the company invested in new international sites and introduced click and collect options from its boutiques around the world.
UK retail sales also climbed by 10pc to ￡106.8m as tourist shoppers flocked to London to pick up bargains as the pound weakened following the European referendum.
Mr Andretta said that he was not too concerned about an impact on tourists shunning the capital following the terrorist attacks at London Bridge two weeks ago. He added that sales had already been a bit “softer” for the past six weeks partly due to the general election, but primarily because Mulberry had not had any new products in its shops since the Spring/Summer collection 10 weeks ago.
Mulberry recently announced that it would follow its larger luxury rival, Burberry, in adopting a ‘see now, buy now’ approach to catwalk collections, which means that shoppers can instantly purchase the shoes, mulberry replica handbags and clothes they see on the runway. Mr Andretta revealed that the fashion house had already tested the new approach with a capsule collection earlier this year.
The fashion house, which makes 50pc of its replica handbags in Somerset, is targeting Asia as a source of growth after recently launching a separate company with Challice, which will run its business in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Mulberry now has three shops in China, one in Taiwan and one in Hong Kong.
“After a tough couple of years, British heritage brand Mulberry is firmly back on track with Johnny Coca’s reinvention of the brand coming to fruition,” said Sofie Willmott at Global Data.