Mulberry's sales sour

The battered handbag maker's 17% revenue slide doesn't exactly scream glad timings, but could it be in for a Christmas miracle?

by Adam Gale

If you didn’t know, Mulberry’s in a pickle. The luxury handbag maker had a dismal year, crowned by a 17% fall in revenues for the six months to September 30th, to £64.7m. Of course, that shouldn’t come as a surprise, because Mulberry gave away a sneaky spoiler seven weeks ago in an effort to sweeten today’s headlines (look up to see how that worked out for them).

Mulberry’s woes stem from former boss Bruno Guillon’s pursuit of the mid-market, which left middle England aghast and reaching for her John Lewis silk handkerchief and assorted smelling salts. The handbag maker’s base fell through, and UK retail sales plunged 9%.

There are signs of an improvement, however. Mulberry chairman Godfrey Davis said revenues were up 8% on last year in the last nine weeks (he kept the figures to himself), with online sales up 18%.

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