British designer brand Vivienne Westwood will focus on boosting its retail performance this year, after the company’s pre-tax profits fell by 36% in 2013.
Profits dipped to £3.2m in the year to December 31 from £5m the year before, while turnover was down 2% from £30.1m to £29.5m. Its gross profit margin fell from 53.3% to 46.1%.
A statement on Vivienne Westwood’s Companies House account said: “2013 has been a challenging year for the company. Over the last year, margins have been under pressure due to the nature of wider retail conditions.
“While the company has seen a small increase in wholesale sales, retail sales have been disappointing with a drop of 2.6% and the focus is now on the retail performance of the business.”
Vivienne Westwood, which produces four clothing sub-brands - Gold, Red, Man and Anglomania - and a range of leather goods, jewellery, accessories, fragrance and homeware, said it plans to improve retail by investing in staff training, introducing a new store concept design and reviewing its brand positioning.
It will look at establishing a “better presence” in China and the US, as well as increasing its market penetration in existing territories such as France, Italy and Japan. It also plans to open new stores in the UK, where it currently has 10 shops, and will launch a new transactional website to boost online sales.