Dunkerton wants to revive the company’s fortunes following financial woes which have seen its shares fall from £20 per share in January, down to £7.29 per share. The founder is still the company’s majority shareholder, owning a 18.5% stake in the fashion retailer. Dunkerton has recently gone public with criticism of the company’s strategy following last week’s profit warning.
The former CEO who stepped down in 2014, criticised the company’s decision to discount jackets two days before Christmas meaning the company ran out of stock for the rest of the winter. Dunkerton also said Superdry’s policy of putting new products on its rails more frequently was misguided.
A focus on core jackets and hoodies, whilst offering a wider range of variants online is the way forward in Dunkerton’s opinion, with the founder claiming: “Superdry is a series of core products – stick with them and tweak them.”
Dunkerton said his attempts to return were “not about ego” and were “just about the strategy”, adding “the ship needs to turn and it needs to turn quickly”. Dunkerton founded Superdry in Cheltenham 15 years ago alongside designer James Holder, who left in 2016 and still owns a 9.7% stake in the company. Holder said he backed Dunkerton’s plan to return to the company.
Peter Bamford, chairman of Superdry, said: “We have reviewed and discussed these issues and, while we have sympathy with some of his points, we have a different view on the best strategy or approach to addressing them.
“The board believes that Julian’s view of strategy has not evolved with the needs of the business. We remain fully committed to our successful global digital brand strategy and the board is confident that Superdry has in place the right leadership.”