Cath Kidston says it plans to invest further in ecommerce under new ownership, as its sales approach pre-pandemic levels.
Hilco Capital, part of Hilco Global, has bought the brand, known for its floral prints, from Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA). BPEA had bought Cath Kidston when it went into pre-pack administration in the first wave of Covid-19, in April 2020.
In October 2020, Cath Kidston relaunched as a digital-first business, having gone from 60 shops around the UK to just one flagship store – on London’s Piccadilly. It expected ecommerce to account for 85% of its sales and had an ambition to sell online to 200 markets, building on wholesale and International partnerships in 35 countries
Now it ships to markets around the world, says sales are close to pre-pandemic levels and plans to grow further thanks to the new Hilco funding.
Marty Wikstrom, non-executive chair at Cath Kidston, says: “Brexit, followed by the Covid pandemic, created a number of challenges for the consumer industry. Thankfully, we have been able to successfully navigate those challenges and, with the help of BPEA, reposition the company for growth.
“The company’s flagship store in Piccadilly is growing rapidly and performing close to pre-pandemic levels, and orders from our international and UK franchisees and wholesale partners grew 40% for the fiscal year ending March 2022.
“I am pleased that the Hilco team will commit the resources to enable Cath Kidston to accelerate its growth. Hilco’s large and experienced UK team has considerable expertise in branded fashion and consumer businesses. We expect to invest further in ecommerce, and thanks to Holly Marler, who joined the company in 2021 as creative director, our new product ranges are perfectly placed to appeal to both existing and new customers.”
Hilco Capital says: “We have long admired the Cath Kidston brand and are extremely pleased to have been chosen to take the company on the next stage of its journey.”
Cath Kidston is ranked Top350 in RXUK Top500 research.It was founded in 1993 by the designer Cath Kidston and now sells in the UK online and from one flagship store in London’s Piccadilly.