Style Group Brands, formerly known as Jacques Vert Group, has hired KPMG as a consultant “to work on numbers”, as part of plans to get the business back on track under new chief executive Shaun Wills.
Sky News reported that its owner Sun European Partners is evaluating options for its shareholding and has hired KPMG to explore a sale or restructuring, amid toughening trading conditions on the high street. However, Wills said Style Group had hired KPMG and that while Sun European Partners may be evaluating its shareholding, so far it is “business as usual”.
“Sun remains really supportive,” he said.
He added that trading had been reasonable, with the group that comprises brands Jacques Vert, Precis, Windsmoor, Eastex, and Dash, increasing sales by 4% on a like-for-like basis for the second half ended 31 January.
“The real test is this spring/summer, which is where all our work around more commercial product will start to be seen,” he told Drapers today.
“I’m really pleased with how the new season has started and we’ve had good feedback anecdotally so now we just need to see that translate into figures.”
Wills echoed many other retailers about the challenging trading conditions on the high street but was optimistic about the group’s performance as part of the turnaround plan.
“We can make some significant strides based on improvements to our past mistakes,” he said. “If we were a mature business that was growing gently, I would be worried where that half a percent like-for-like growth was going to come from.”
He said there is some reorganisation going on in stores in terms of store management staff, but declined to give further details.
“Our like-for-like sales are reasonable and when we get into the full swing of the season then we will be able to see where things are,” he added.
Wills took over as CEO from Tim Davies in April and Jacques Vert Group rebranded as Style Group Brands in September last year.
KPMG and Sun European Partners declined to comment.