Mulberry Profit Warning

(53 Posts)
jimjamspam Thu 30-Jan-14 09:33:42

www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/29/mulberry-handbag-price-war-profit-warning

From this morning's Guardian - interesting that they have been re-positioning themselves increasingly high end and that it doesn't seem to be working for them

I remember looking at Mulberry bags about 5 years ago and thinking that they weren't very good quality. I never understood the subsequent hoohaa about their bags, or the Alexa bag.

I've just looked at their online shop. Nothing very original in their current bag offering, all a bit bleah (regardless of the quality), and their shoes are dull, dull, dull. Even the website screams "ordinary".

From reading the article it seems the guy who came in from Hermes thought it would be easy to upscale from mid-range customers. But it isn't. You have to have a very clever strategy indeed, which is more than just sending out a load of free bags to the celebrity of the day. It does also help to have brilliant design, brilliant quality and an interesting website.

AnnabelleDarling Thu 30-Jan-14 10:37:11

I think this was predicted on S&B some time ago. Should we set up a consultancy?

FrugalFashionista Thu 30-Jan-14 10:48:14

They lost their old faithful customer base (people here) and failed to attract the true luxury customer...

I had endless problems with a broken Mulberry (strap snapped after a few wears) last year. I finally settled for a replacement bag. But when I looked through their catalogue, I had a really hard time finding anything that I really fancied. I just don't think their new bags are very covetable.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Thu 30-Jan-14 10:54:58

I've got a Mulberry Elgin that DH bought me a few years ago - I like and use it a lot, but it's a "workhorse" bag, not a high fashion item.

dexter73 Thu 30-Jan-14 11:16:38

I suppose that is the trouble with trying to reposition yourself. The people who used to buy your bags can no longer afford them and the people who can afford them don't see them as being desirable.

yes the price hike, meant that I looked at other brands. I decided if I was spending £1000 on a bag then I would look to brands such as Chloe rather than mulberry and that's what I did, I brought the Chloe Marcie instead of the mulberry I had my eye on.

jimjamspam Thu 30-Jan-14 13:28:56

They do seem to have simply increased their prices without any justification - although I have to say where I work they are pretty ubiquitous, almost every second woman has one so they don't seem that "special" though I do like the Bayswater as a decent styled work bag

I like R&B or Hobbs for similar quality without the silly price tag and if I'm going to drop £1K I want a Saint Laurent or something with that sort of cachet.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Thu 30-Jan-14 13:29:52

The price has gone up way too far too fast. No one wants to buy a new Mulberry anymore. People are not idiots and as such are buying Mulberry pre loved (where there are great bargains to be had) or moving on to higher end brands. They have done it to themselves. Victims of their own greed.

MarshaBrady Thu 30-Jan-14 13:32:46

All those massive trees / badges they stick on, bad move.

foolssilver Thu 30-Jan-14 13:42:44

Interesting read, thanks OP.

I too have a few old 'workhorse' mulberrys which have lasted well and aged beautifully but haven't bought anything in years. Was recently tempted by the Alexa as fancied a cross body bag but after feedback when I posted about I decided against it as the quality appeared to be pretty bad.

I wish they'd relaunch the Elgin, I have Oak but would love black too. That's the direction they should head in I think, back to good quality classics.

Marylou2 Thu 30-Jan-14 14:02:15

Oh I do agree about the enormous shiny logos. I went through a time that with small children I couldn't justify Mulberry prices and when returned I couldn't believe the price hike and the drop in qualityhmm

dontcallmemam Thu 30-Jan-14 14:14:07

Frugal, you're so right. I have a few Mulberry bags from about 8-10 years ago. I looked at replacing my Bayswater & it's now £900. Massively over priced for anyone but the truly wealthy customer.
They've lost me.

TheBeautifulVisit Thu 30-Jan-14 14:27:23

They've failed to replace Emma Hill (their creative director) who left after a divergence of opinion over direction, or something like that.

I looked closely at their Alexa bag the other day. There was such a lot I didn't like about it, and not just the outrageous price. I ended up buying something much lovelier and much cheaper from Osprey. I am so so pleased with my Osprey bag. The Osprey quality is gorgeous and their customer service wonderful. If you buy something from them, sign up as a VIP member as you get 10% off that way.

https://www.ospreylondon.com/products.php?subCat=60&gender=7&viewall=true

I think Mulberry is over.

AmazingJumper Thu 30-Jan-14 14:37:45

I bought some new inserts for my personal organiser online, and it said it would come 'beautifully gift wrapped', and it arrived in a cheap brown envelope. I e mailed to complain (thinking I'd at least get a refund on the £5 postage, and was basically told 'Oh... I'll pass on your comments to may manager.'

So I don't like them now grin

Tweet2tweet Thu 30-Jan-14 15:10:36

They just became greedy and it backfired. Good I say! Treating loyal customers appallingly and cutting corners. All a bit footballers wives now with big gold trees etc.

Look forward to seeing them in TK Maxx.

carrie74 Thu 30-Jan-14 15:30:38

They're local to me, and I've been buying their bags for about 10+ years (I've now got 5 I think). The last bag I bought was about 2-3 years ago, and that was only because I got it 30% off, and through a convoluted process that I can't be bothered to go into, had the money totally spare.

I didn't really like it when they started trying to move away from their more traditional leanings - sure, making a nod to trends was fine, but I didn't really like all the crazy leathers, the big insignias etc (and neither it would seem, did the customers, as there were always tonnes in the factory shop). I also didn't like how it became the ubiquitous bag for every UK celeb. When I was growing up, a Mulberry bag was for life, it was traditional, hand tooled, and reliable. Now they're almost just another symbol of gotta have it consumerism.

Unless things change drastically, I can't see myself buying another, largely because I can't bring myself to spend those amounts of money on a bag.

GinSoakedBitchyPony Thu 30-Jan-14 15:36:51

I've got a 10+ year old Mulberry bag that I hate, bought by my exH. The quality is excellent, but I just don't like the design of it.
Quality the last few years has been awful, they bear no resemblance to my old hideous one.

The BeautifulVisit Osprey looks really good - I love the Oxblood colour. I haven't felt so lustful in years!

https://www.ospreylondon.com/item.php?product_id=1000006&product_name=THE-MAUDIE&gender=7&subCat=60

Oops sorry don't know how to link as I'm on the iPad - sorry!

Eastpoint Thu 30-Jan-14 17:56:12

Their old COO left & went to Loewe around the time their quality changed. She used to test bags & give them to her nanny to use so she could see how they worked in everyday life. When she worked there they didn't do any celebrity freebies & were proud of that. I think Anya Hindmarch may hit the same problem in a few years.

PrimalLass Thu 30-Jan-14 18:06:08

Having a reputation for awful customer service and bags that fall apart doesn't help.

I would have loved a Bayswater for my 40th, and could almost have justified the £500 it was when I first fell in love with it. But for £900 a few years later they can f*ck off.

ishouldcocoa Thu 30-Jan-14 19:34:23

I thought that it was mostly the Chinese or Japanese tourists who bought Mulberry handbags. There seem to be coach loads of them heading their direction. Maybe its now too expensive for them...?

I'm a fan of Osprey - even better go to one of their outlets at Gunwharf Quays or the Clarks shopping village at Street. Maybe there are more?

I just wander round quietly stroking the bags....!

Snowdown Thu 30-Jan-14 19:45:19

I've always been put off by the big brassy logos, mind you they aren't unusual on that score.

dexter73 Thu 30-Jan-14 20:24:18

I had an Osprey bag and it was really bad quality and customer services weren't interested. Dh gave me a Coach bag for Christmas so that is being road-tested at the moment. Seems good one month in!

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