French Connection, the troubled fashion retailer, made an announcement on Friday stating that it has decided to abandon its plans to sell the company. This decision comes after a strategic review that the company has been conducting since October 2018, as well as disappointing results that have led to a drop of over 20% in the company’s shares.

Initially, French Connection had expressed its intention to complete a sale by the end of last year. However, the company has now shifted its focus towards completing its turnaround and building on the progress it has made in recent years. It is unclear whether the lack of a suitable buyer at the desired price was the reason for the company’s decision, or if it simply believes it has a better chance of improving its situation on its own.

Moving forward, French Connection has outlined a series of steps it plans to take to address its challenges. These steps include further reducing the size of its store portfolio, renegotiating ongoing store costs, collaborating closely with key wholesale customers to expand its business in the US, investing more in its online platform to enhance the customer experience, increasing marketing spend to drive traffic, expanding its range of license arrangements, and seeking potential cost savings in other areas.

The company is scheduled to release its preliminary results for the year ending January 31, 2020 on March 10. However, French Connection has already hinted that these results may not be favorable, as it expects to report a loss before taxation of between £1m and £2m. The challenging trading conditions on the UK High Street, particularly in the second half of the year, have been cited as the primary reason for these anticipated losses.

Despite the difficulties it faces, French Connection is still committed to expanding in the UK. Just this week, the company opened a new store in the Town Mall at The Peacocks shopping centre in Woking, spanning an area of 1,260 sq ft. It remains to be seen how the company’s efforts to turn itself around and its plans for further growth will fare in the future. While investors may have been disappointed by French Connection’s decision to abandon the sale, it reflects the company’s determination to overcome its challenges and continue operating.

Useful links:
French Connection Official Website
The Guardian’s French Connection Coverage