AUSTRIA: Wolford shake-up to shift focus back to legwear
Wolford Group is to shift its focus back to legwear and figure-fitting garments as part of a strategic refocusing designed to "increase and strengthen" the enthusiasm of its customers.
The Austrian company, which swung to a net loss in its last financial year, said it plans to adjust the structure of its product line to "better reflect the expectations of customers in the future".
The plans were approved by the group's supervisory board last week. This was preceded by an "intensive" review lasting several months, it said, in which management looked at brand positioning, processes, and evaluated opportunities to strengthen its competitiveness.
The focus will now shift back to legwear as the "DNA of the brand" and figure-embracing products such as lingerie, bodies, tops and shirts.
The firm's ready-to-wear line will concentrate on products that fit with this more precise positioning, it said, while the swimwear line will be discontinued beginning with the 2015 spring/summer collection.
A refocusing of distribution will also form part of the restructure, including new boutique partners and increased investments in its online business.
New project and process management teams are also being set up to reduce the time-to-market by redesigning, streamlining and accelerating corporate processes - allowing the company to bring innovations to market more quickly and increase added value.
"The management board of Wolford is convinced the refocusing of the corporate strategy and the related measures will set the right course for the company's positive development," Wolford said.
In its last financial year, Wolford booked a net loss of US$2.8m compared to earnings of $1.3m in the prior year. Sales edged up 1.6% to $156.5m. In its first-quarter, net losses widened to $4.3m from $3m in the prior year quarter.
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