LUKE is a brand tipped for success. Simon Poole, Managing Director talks to RLI about the young fashion brand's values and why they are NOT aiming for world domination.
Luke is a full lifestyle menswear brand with unique styling which is fashionable but still masculine.
Simon Poole, Managing Director of the brand, explains: "We cover all aspects of what an 18-25 year old single guy would wear from top to toe - from trainers to shoes, from jeans to trousers and suits and a full range of accessories.
"It is street, sports and utility wear - a very flexible product. We'll dress a guy for work, for the match on a Saturday afternoon and also going out on a Saturday night."
The company is also trialling a casual women's offer this season called 'forever in Luke jeans' in its franchised stores and online.
Luke currently has three franchise stores in Bristol, Cardiff, Manchester and a newly-opened store in Birmingham's Bullring on a one-year trial lease.
Simon says the team have just returned from a successful trip to China where Luke has signed a franchise partner that has 400 stores across the southern region of China. The franchise partner is looking to do three standalone stores and up to 10 shop-in-shops.
Simon said: "I'm really glad that we have found a strong partner to work with and this could put us on the map in one of the fastest growing markets. At this rate it will be Shanghai or Beijing before London!
"We would like to open a store in London but we are not hitting the numbers to make it a successful venture and we won't open a flagship store there just for the sake of it.
"We will take sound, financially viable opportunities as they come along. We're not a massive company - we turn over £10million in the UK - so I haven't got the budgets that some of these big multinationals have."
Sales figures over Christmas were described as 'phenomenal' by Simon - reporting a 40 per cent rise in online sales which he says was totally unexpected. He says people have tightened their belts a bit this year, with a tough February and March.
"I am confident in what we do. The only thing that holds us back is the economy. If we are taking 30 per cent like-for-like sales during the recession we could be doing 60-70 per cent in a buoyant market."
For the full article, please see the May 2011 issue.