Despite the collapse of House of Fraser in 2018, British retailer Barbour has managed to achieve impressive results. The fashion brand, known for its country lifestyle and wax cotton clothing, saw an 11.3% increase in sales, reaching £225.2 million for the year ending in April 2019. This growth was evident across various wholesale and retail markets, highlighting the brand’s strength.
Established in 1894, Barbour initially supplied oilskins and protective garments for sailors, fishermen, and dockers. Over the years, it has transformed into a heritage company specializing in weatherproof outerwear. Its reputation has soared with the endorsement of members of the royal family and celebrities such as Alexa Chung.
Barbour attributes its sales growth to the resilience of its brands, even in challenging trading conditions on the high street. Alongside this growth, the company implemented cost-saving measures, leading to a pre-tax profit of £39 million, a 16.8% increase from the previous year.
However, Barbour did face setbacks when House of Fraser went into administration, leaving outstanding debts of approximately £3 million. Nevertheless, the company successfully navigated through these difficulties and achieved strong financial performance.
As a family-owned business, Barbour is led by its chairman, Dame Margaret Barbour. Its product distribution encompasses three brands: the classic Barbour, the motorcycle-focused Barbour International, and the newer Barbour Beacon, which targets younger consumers and was launched in 2018.
Barbour’s ability to adapt and thrive in the face of a challenging retail landscape is a testament to its success. Its commitment to quality and heritage appeals to a wide range of consumers. With its robust financial performance and ongoing efforts to engage younger audiences, Barbour is positioned for continued success in the fashion industry.