The beauty of Mulberry is that its handbags cost anywhere between £350-£3,500 (or more), which encapsulates a wide section of the population – from those who save up to buy themselves something a bit special, to the more affluent on a handbag-a-week habit. Mulberry’s ‘affordable luxury’ strategy pushed like-for-like retail sales up by 44%, while international revenues rose by 115%, to £29.4m.
In fact, wholesale shipments rose by a staggering 93% in the six months, pushed up by increased demands from abroad – which hardly makes it surprising that the brand is planning to open another nine stores in the next six months (although it kept schtum as to where those will be). Add to that the fact that back in October, it signed a 10-year deal with Asian distributor Club 21 to sell its products in South East Asia, and Mulberry seems to be avoiding the downturn in spending rather nicely.
The company did have one cautionary note to add, though: apparently, sales growth has slowed in the last couple of months, with like-for-like sales rising by a mere 14% in the 10 weeks to 3 December. And although that’s the sort of growth many of its rivals would give up their leopard Evelina for, Mulberry warned that the ‘potential impact of the economic environment on consumers’ spending habits makes the future more challenging’. Which suggests that even luxury brands are battening down the hatches for the long winter ahead.