SuperGroup’s makeover strategy, debunked

US licence, a Hollywood´s brand ambassador and dividend pay as soon as from 2016: these are the main highlights of SuperGroup’s makeover strategy. The Superdry brand´s owner saw its shares advanced over 8 percent right after spilling the beans on its plans for the future.

The British apparel group has gained the exclusive rights to distribute its products in the US, Canada and Mexico, terminating the existing US licence by paying 22.3 million pounds (33 million dollar).

In a strategy update on Thursday from new Chief Executive Euan Sutherland the firm also said it would start paying dividends with an interim payout in its 2015-16 financial year, sending its shares up 8.3 percent, the top riser on the FTSE 250 Index.

SuperGroup’s plans for success in the US have a Hackney face

In order to crack the American main markets or the brand, the retailer´s CEO Euan Sutherland revealed plans to pay a dividend next year: partnering with Hackney-born actor Idris Elba, who will work with the parent of Superdry brand to produce a premium clothing line, which is expected to appeal to customers across the globe, as reported by ‘CITY A.M.’

“Idris drives us into a more-premium market. He is a huge name in the US, but is very British, very grounded and very cool,” said Sutherland commenting his plans to take over the US.

In words of Investec analyst Kate Calvert, this partnership “is a coup” that confirms its belief brand appeal is wider than its targeted 15-25-year-old market.

Likewise crucial to expanding into the US, Canada and Mexico is the deal just nailed by the British apparel company to manage exclusively the distribution of the Superdry brand and 15 shop leases for 22.3 million pounds in North America after ending a 30-year licence deal with its partner there, SDUSA.

The acquired business made an operating loss of 5.1 million pounds in 2014, but under its control, SuperGroup plans to return the operation to profitability from 2017.

As reports the ‘Wall Street Journal’, analysts had described SuperGroup’s growth in the US as being hampered by the deal it struck in 2008 with its local licensee.

“The U.S. business will now be better managed under direct ownership and the company should be better able to benefit from the significant opportunities for the Superdry brand in that market,” said Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Freddie George, publishes the ‘WSJ’.

Despite all the novelties, the group's expected profit outcome for FY15 remains in the range 60 - 65 million pounds; in line with previous guidance.

According to Reuters, plans for European expansion are also under way with more shops planned for Germany, Austria and Spain. In addition, the retailer will look to grow its presence in London.





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