News Column

Reiss Thanks Duchess for Boosting Sales as it Opens Stores Abroad

Jan 28, 2013

Neil Craven, Financial Mail on Sunday, London

Prince William and Kate Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge has been praised by fashion chain Reiss for boosting its sales as it embarks on a wave of international store openings.

The family-owned chain said that sales increased five per cent to pounds sterling 100 million in 2011, according to figures just released by the company.

Reiss has opened stores in Asia, the US and Russia to capitalise on its exposure as the Duchess wore its designs.

Profits fell 18 per cent to pounds sterling 3 million as it invested in expansion and because the company said it made a decision not to pass higher commodity prices on to its customers.

'In the year we benefited from the patronage of the Duchess of Cambridge, which raised the profile of the brand significantly,' a spokesman for the company said. 'We believe that there is still significant organic growth in the UK retail business, online sales and overseas.'

Meanwhile, budget fashion chain New Look is poised to appoint bankers to renegotiate its pounds sterling 1.1 billion debt mountain.

Financial Mail has learnt that a key concern is a rapidly growing pile of 'payment in kind' notes that accrue nine per cent interest a year.

The compound interest rate has meant that portion of the debt has now doubled in size to about pounds sterling 750 million.

The notes are traded on the open market but they are also held by Apax Partners, one of New Look's private equity backers, as well as its former chief executive Carl McPhail.

Source: (c)2013 Daily Mail (London). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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