UK: Aurora Fashions to be broken up in restructuring
Retailer Aurora Fashions is undergoing a major restructure, with plans to spin off its Oasis and Warehouse brands under a new company called Fresh Channel, and operate Coast as a standalone business.
The company said the moves will create a "more agile business structure and enable the brands to further embrace omni-channel".
Warehouse managing director Liz Evans has been appointed as CEO of Fresh Channel.
Aurora's senior management team will continue to work together over the next 12-18 months to support the brands through the transition and, once this transition is complete, Aurora will cease to exist.
"Retailing is no longer about gearing your operating model around bricks and mortar, something we have realised as a result of our omni-channel success. Instead, our businesses must adapt and utilise a number of distribution channels to ensure we continue to capitalise on the changing global retail environment," said chairman Derek Lovelock.
The company said the moves will create a "de-layered" management structure with operations aligned around an omni-channel model rather than traditional bricks and mortar. Combining young fashion brands Warehouse and Oasis will enable the management team to exploit economies of scale and to move innovation at pace.
"De-layering our businesses enables us to maximise the capabilities we have built through our channels over the last two years.
"This will allow us to create independent, agile organisations, where the management teams have full control and autonomy to deliver their strategies, so that they can provide their global customer base with more choice," said Aurora CEO Mike Shearwood.
Occasionwear specialist Coast will build on its positioning, with more flagship openings, a new website and continued international expansion.
The new structure equips Coast and Fresh Channel to capitalise on the changing dynamics of channel share, while achieving significant cost savings.
The company spun off the Karen Millen brand in March 2011. According to reports in The Independent, Aurora CEO Mike Shearwood could be considering a management buyout of the Karen Millen chain in 2014.
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