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Retail Spotlight: La Senza


Posted At: 14 August 2014 00:57 AM
Related Categories: Administrations, Retailers


During its short trading life, La Senza had planned to expand its collection of stores, and elevate the brand to the ‘biggest, young fashion, lingerie retailer’. However, the company has dipped in and out of administration twice in the last three years, and, with no prospective buyers on the horizon, appointed administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers are attempting to sell the company to other retailers. Read on for FSP’s overview of the brand’s trading history and highlights of where the cracks started to show.

Reading into the details of this case, it seems that those with authority over the La Senza brand gave too much attention to planning its expansion, rather than concentrating on the offering available at its existing stores. At the end of 2013, La Senza placed a significant amount of investment into refurbishing existing stores, continuing to promote and expand the Pinkberry frozen yoghurt brand and seeking other brands to migrate to the UK marketplace, in spite of being placed into administration in the previous year. It appears that the company missed a trick to centre its resources on its existing assets, putting on hold its plans for the expansion of this brand and others.

LaSenza Store front

On 18th July 2014 Drapers reported that more La Senza stores were due to close in the following few weeks, including the Bluewater, Brighton, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Kingston, Leeds Trinity, Maidstone, Northampton and Silverburn Glasgow branches. Although there had not been any formal redundancies made, it was thought that the closures would affect 130 staff in total. The company was expected to experience a gradual wind-down although administrators PwC were looking to sell the remaining stores.

16th July 2014- Since La Senza went into administration on 1st July 2014, 75 members of staff have been made redundant through the closure of 6 stores.

8th July 2014- Reports say PwC were looking at the sale of La Senza’s 55-store portfolio.

4th July 2014- 752 jobs were at risk due to the potential closure of 55 UK La Senza, and 3 Pinkberry sister stores.

3rd July 2014- La Senza was unlikely to sell as a whole, due to retailers competing to select its best stores. Alshaya UK, which bought the La Senza UK business in an all-inclusive deal in 2012, unsuccessfully tried to find a buyer early in the year.

1st July 2014- La Senza was placed in administration for the second time in two years. Theo Paphitis was interested in acquiring La Senza stores for his own brand, Boux Avenue to increase its profile.

14th February 2013- La Senza planned to double is store presence over the successive 5 years, with new look stores and a focus on the younger customer; aiming to become the UK’s biggest young fashion lingerie retailer.

21st September 2012- La Senza made a loss of £594,302, which was expected as this was the first period of trade.

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