French Connection Company Briefing
A 9.5% l-f-l sales fall in UK/Europe retail in H1 2012/13 highlights the urgency of implementing its new business strategies, but there will be no quick wins and recovery will be drawn out as it grapples for market differentiation. This Verdict company briefing includes estimated sales data and market shares for clothing spilt down by womenswear and menswear.
- Compare your allocation of clothing space with French Connection by uncovering Verdict's data on the space dedicated to over 10 product categories.
- Benchmark French Connection's performance in clothing by using Verdict's proprietary sales data for womenswear and menswear
- Justify and inform development of licensing partnerships by uncovering French Connection's activity in this area and the impact on sales
- Improve knowledge of performance weaknesses by identifying French Connection's challenges and applying the turnaround strategies to your business
Its efforts to protect its brand by limiting discounting are sensible, but the process of improving performance will take time meaning the next year will be challenging, particularly given that the pressure of discounting will continue throughout 2013 making it difficult to escape if competitors keep up with their current level of markdown.
Launching into homewares is another drive by French Connection to turnaround its performance and will add a further dimension to its product offer. This follows in the footsteps of other clothing retailers such as Zara and, more recently, H&M and Joules which are all making the homewares market more competitive for sector specialists.
While there is a gap in the womenswear and menswear markets for well designed, attractive occasion and formalwear French Connection is struggling to make itself appealing to UK consumers, primarily because the price points are just too high, unjustified by product quality or the current state of stores.
- How have French Connection's clothing sales and densities developed and how does Verdict see this changing in 2013?
- What is French Connection's share of the womenswear and menswear? What is its UK clothing market share prediction for 2013?
- How should French Connection try to rebuild loyalty from shoppers and drive footfall? Will its strategy to reduce the level of discounting work?
- What areas can French Connection explore to reduce costs and protect profitability from falling further? How can closing stores improve productivity?
Table of contents
New business initiatives in place to turn performance around;
Four year operating loss highlights severity of poor trading;
High price points must be justified;
UK clothing market share remains level in 2013 at 0.4%;
Store closures are a must over the next few years to rebuild retail brand equity.
Tough year ahead but it takes initial steps to improve performance
Recovery in performance is a long term challenge
Recent key events
Tough challenge to turn performance back to positive territory
Struggles to improve poor sales and profitability
Freedom from debt fails to deliver a profit
Sector performance – clothing
Premium prices are the cause of weak clothing performance
Space productivity forecast to fall in 2012/13
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Market size calculation
Sales density calculation
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Table: French Connection company information 2012
Table: French Connection retail proposition 2012
Table: Great Plains retail proposition 2012
Table: Toast retail proposition 2012
Table: French Connection key operating statistics 2008–13e
Table: French Connection group sales from core continuing operations 2010–12
Table: French Connection trading record 2003–13e
Table: French Connection UK store portfolio 2003–13e
Table: French Connection space allocation 2011
Table: French Connection UK womenswear and menswear sales 2008–13e
Table: French Connection UK clothing breakdown market shares 2008–13e
Figure: French Connection fascia 2012
Figure: French Connection UK retail sales and growth to January 2008e–13e
Figure: French Connection clothing space breakdown 2011
Figure: French Connection UK clothing sales (ex VAT) to September 2008–13
Figure: French Connection UK clothing sales (ex VAT) per sq ft to January 2008–13e
Figure: French Connection clothing market shares for calendar 2008–13e
Related research categories
By company: French Connection Plc