EXCLUSIVE: Jaeger sets up team to develop UK supply base
Jaeger aims to have 10-15% of its product manufactured in the UK as soon as possible
Signs that the 'Made in the UK' movement is gaining momentum came today (18 March) with the news that upscale fashion brand Jaeger has created a dedicated team to ramp up its domestic sourcing.
The British company, which up until 15 years ago produced most of its merchandise in its own UK factories, aims to have between 10% and 15% of its product manufactured in the UK as soon as possible.
"As part of this reorganisation, we have now created a dedicated team of three people, who are 100% focused on developing our UK supply base and developing UK product," a spokesperson for Jaeger exclusively told just-style.
The group's head of product development, Lindy Maddock, is on the team and she will now take on the additional responsibility of head of UK manufacturing.
'Made in Britain' is what Jaeger used to stand for and was a label it backed, the spokesperson said, adding: "We need to get close to that again."
"We're actually saying we have to really build these vendor relationships, handle them with care, develop them. So it's something we're really in earnest about."
He described the reaction from Jaeger's customers as "overwhelming". In the last three weeks, he said the company has been trading at full-price and is "significantly ahead of last year" in terms of full-price sales.
Jaeger, which was saved from bankruptcy in April 2012 and lost GBP40m (US$66.3m) in that year alone, is now "on track" to breaking even this year.
The company, which is refocusing on being a design led organisation, last year appointed Jsen Wintle as creative director for men's wear, and Sheila McKain-Waid as creative director of women's wear.
To support these appointments, Jaeger is in the process of strengthening its merchandising team and creating a product development group.
The moves will also see the 12-strong buying team offered alternative roles in either product development or merchandising.
But the spokesperson stressed "there are no job reductions", adding: "we are not reducing the headcount at Jaeger. It's about strengthening our merchandise team and creating a merchandising team and creating a product development team".
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