Board members at global fashion brand, Superdry have told the company’s co-founder Julian Dunkerton that he cannot return to the firm. This decision will be formally announced following a shareholders meeting in April.
Dunkerton left Superdry at the end of last year and has been critical of the fashion chain’s marketing strategy ever since. He wants the firm to focus on selling hoodies and coats in the UK market.
The co-founder disputes the shareholder’s claim that he oversaw the Autumn/Winter collection, which fell low below sales expectations.
In a statement by the Superdry board, it read: “Mr Dunkerton, as the Company’s Brand and Product Director (the role he wants to return to), had prime executive responsibility for the design direction, range selection and range build of the Autumn/Winter 2018 range, which contributed to the Company’s underperformance in FY19, and which was representative of underlying issues in the approach to product and innovation. Mr Dunkerton has failed to accept any responsibility for the Autumn/Winter 2018 range, even going as far as to claim that he had no involvement despite extensive and detailed evidence to the contrary.”
The board went on to explain how having Dunkerton return to his role as a director would be damaging to the brand.
They stated: “The Board unanimously believes that Mr Dunkerton’s return to the Company, in any capacity, would be extremely damaging to the Company and its prospects.
“Specifically, that it would: (i) lead to a strategy that would fail; (ii) result in a return to a narrow and concentrated range mix, high option count, and low rate of sale model with a disregard for consumer and data insight; (iii) be divisive and distract from the delivery of the Global Digital Brand strategy; (iv) reintroduce a leadership style that does not fit within the open-minded collaborative culture, values and operation of the Company; (v) lead to dysfunctional relationships with the Board and management; and (vi) damage morale across the business and cause departures of key personnel, including from within the Board.”