Temperley London, the esteemed womenswear brand founded by Alice Temperley in 2002, has faced an array of obstacles in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has only added to its troubles, resulting in a notable decline in business. The filing of the company’s 2019 accounts has also drawn a warning from its auditor regarding its ability to continue as a viable business.

Despite these challenges, Temperley London maintains its confidence as it approaches its 20th year in existence. The company firmly believes that it now possesses the appropriate operational structure and strategic plans to capitalize on its brand’s popularity within the luxury retail market.

The figures that have sparked concerns among auditors reveal a pre- and post-tax loss of £3.74 million in 2019, following a loss of £3.34 million the previous year. Furthermore, the net liabilities at the close of 2019 stood at £20.38 million, a wider gap compared to the £16.63 million recorded in the prior year.

Turnover for the business experienced a 13% decline, amounting to £8.46 million in 2019, as opposed to £9.69 million in 2018. The company attributes this decrease in revenue to historical issues regarding product range and quality, which it claims to have successfully addressed through its new business strategy. Despite lower sales, an improved gross margin and strict cost controls resulted in a narrower EBITDA loss of £2.9 million, as compared to £3 million the previous year. However, this figure does not include the negative impact of a £635,000 bad debt provision made in 2019.

Temperley London maintains a presence in over 30 countries through approximately 60 wholesale accounts. More than 58% of its sales are generated internationally, with key markets including the US, Canada, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, China, and Hong Kong.

In 2019, the company placed significant focus on its turnaround program, appointing Luca Donnini as its new CEO and evolving its brand positioning from a British fashion label to an internationally recognized luxury lifestyle brand with British heritage. This involved expanding its product offerings to include daywear, which the company considers a significant opportunity, while continuing to strengthen its evening and bridal collections.

Temperley London has also dedicated resources to enhancing its retail presence, such as the opening of a new franchise store in Dubai in December 2019. Additionally, investments have been made in its website, leading to the development of a new e-commerce platform.

Despite the challenging circumstances, the company has received support from its shareholders. In 2019, an equity raise of almost £1.9 million was successfully completed by issuing shares to existing and new shareholders. These actions have played a crucial role in stabilizing the company’s financial situation.

While 2019 presented significant hurdles for Temperley London, the brand remains determined to weather the storm with its new strategic direction and leadership. As it approaches its 20th anniversary, the company holds onto hope that its strong brand reputation and focused growth strategies will pave the way for future success in the demanding luxury retail market.

Useful links:
Temperley London Official Website
Vogue: A Brief History of Temperley London