Fashion retailer considers sale after disastrous IPO

In The Style

In The Style founder Adam Frisby is to step back into the chief executive role as the fashion retailer considers launching a sale process.

The Salford-based company floated in March 2021 with a market value of £105m but its share price has since fallen by 95%.

In The Style has launched a strategic review that could result in a sale of all or part of the company.

The retailer also revealed it made a pre-tax loss of £3.1m in the six months to September.

In a statement, the company said: “The board believes that there has been limited liquidity for In The Style’s shareholders for some time and that the current market capitalisation of the company does not properly reflect the underlying growth potential of the group which may be better realised under an alternative ownership structure.”

In The Style said it has not received an approach about an offer and is not in any talks with potential new owners.

Although the company said it enjoyed a record “Black Friday” fortnight, it warned “consumer sentiment remains uncertain” and does not expect to grow direct-to-consumer revenues this year.

Sales in the first half of the financial year were down 11% to £26.6m, dragged down by a 45% drop in wholesale revenues.

However total sales are three times higher than before the pandemic, which the company said “demonstrated that it has consolidated the revenue gains made over the last three years through its direct-to-consumer channel”.

One notable success for the business was its collaboration with the late Dame Deborah James to raise £1.7m for the Bowelbabe fund for Cancer Research UK.

Frisby said: “We have made important progress against our strategic priorities during the first six months of the year as we look to evolve our business and re-engineer our economic model.

“We expect trading conditions to be challenging in the second half. We will continue to focus on cost control and profitability, and we look forward to delivering further strategic progress over the remainder of the financial year.”

Frisby led In The Style for nine years until January, when he stepped aside and took on the role of chief brand officer. He will return as chief executive on an interim basis. 

Current chief executive Sam Perkins will leave the business at the end of this month.

In The Style’s disastrous flotation was one of several by North West companies during the pandemic period.

The share prices of THG, musicMagpie and Victorian Plumbing have all experienced falls of around 90% since the companies went public.

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