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Saturday 30 August 2014

Esprit plans to launch new fashion brand

Published 02/12/2013 | 02:30

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Supermodel Gisele Bundchen wears clothes from the Esprit range

German fashion group Esprit is planning to launch a new fashion brand in the new year.

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The new range will be a "bit younger and a bit cheaper than Esprit", chief executive Jose Manuel Martinez told the 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung'.

The fashion brand operates in 40 countries, including Ireland, and is under pressure to return to profit.

"I expect that we will soon – maybe even next year – no longer be loss-making," according to Mr Martinez, a former executive at Zara owner Inditex.

For the 2013/14 fiscal year, Esprit – which hired top model Gisele Bundchen, left, to showcase its collections in 2012 to boost its fortunes – has forecast a further decline in turnover, partly due to store closures, but expects cost-cutting will help to reduce its operating expenses-to-sales ratio to less than 50pc from just over 65pc in 2012/13.

The planned new brand is to be operated like a start-up to improve cost controls, and will be trialled initially in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Irish Independent

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