|Traded as||LSE: MUL|
|Founded||Somerset, England (1971)|
Mulberry is a fashion company founded in the United Kingdom in 1971, known internationally for its leather goods, in particular women's handbags.
The company was founded in 1971 by Roger Saul and his mother Joan—in 1973 they opened a factory in Chilcompton, Somerset, England. Mulberry established itself as a British lifestyle brand, noted for its leather poacher bags including the binocular bag and dispatch bag. The range includes male and female fashions, leather accessories, and footwear. Mulberry Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange as MUL, and shareholders with 250 or more shares are entitled to a 20% discount at Mulberry's shops.
In 2006, Mulberry launched an apprenticeship programme to encourage local youths to learn production skills and providing training and employment for the local community. Apprentices that graduate from the programme are offered a job at the factory in Somerset.
Mulberry has stores throughout the UK and all over the world including Europe, the USA, Australia and Asia. It has registered offices in Somerset, London and New York City. Mulberry continues to make designer leather goods at its original Somerset factory, called The Rookery. In summer 2013 Mulberry's second factory, also based in Somerset, started production. It was formally named 'The Willows' in March 2014, after the nearby Willow Man sculpture.
In 2013, Ian Scott, Director of a group supply at Mulberry Chilcompton Somerset was interviewed by Luke Leitch of The Telegraph. He stated that many (including all men's bags) are made in three Turkish factories also used by brands including Dunhill and Givenchy. The "small leather goods" (such as purses, wallets and phone-holders) are made in China, as is the Mulberry scotch-grain luggage spotted earlier in such abundance on the platforms of Bath Spa train station.]
Designer Emma Hill joined Mulberry in 2007, and has been credited with turning the Somerset-based firm from a trusted briefcase and wallet maker into an international fashion powerhouse. The brand has a number of celebrity fans, including the Duchess of Cambridge.
Hill was credited with creating huge hits for the company, such as the Alexa Chung handbag. Profits for the firm were initially strong after Hill's appointment, however the brand struggled during the credit crisis, and has issued two profit warnings in the past year. In June 2013, it was announced that Hill would be leaving the brand due to creative differences. Company share prices fell in the wake of the announcement.
During the year 2014, four new directly-operated stores were opened in the USA and in Germany, one new concession was opened in France and the Stansted Airport store was temporarily closed due to the redevelopment of the terminal. As of March 31, 2015, there were 70 directly-operated stores.
For the year ended on March 31, 2015, the Mulberry Group announced that the company’s total revenues were 148.7 million pounds (229.5 million dollars), down 9 percent from 163.5 million pounds (252.5 million dollars) in 2013, reflecting a small growth in retail sales which was offset by a decline in wholesale sales.
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- Chesters, Laura (22 February 2014). "Bags of growth ahead for Mulberry". The Independent. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Feltham, Liam (24 March 2014). "A new branch on the Mulberry tree". Glass Magazine. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Leitch, Luke (2013-08-28). " Victoria's Secret News". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Waterlow, Lucy (2013-06-10). "Handbags at dawn as Mulberry creative director Emma Hill quits over creative disagreements with management". London: www.dailymail.com. Retrieved 2013-06-11.[unreliable source?]
- "Mulberry stock hit by loss of creative director Emma Hill". www.bbc.co.uk. 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Singh, Prachi (June 11, 2015). "Annual revenues decline 9 percent at Mulberry". FashionUnited. Retrieved June 18, 2015.