French Connection is fighting to hang on to its position in an ever-changing fashion marketplace. Newcomers such as Mango, Zara and Bershka are moving in on what was once its exclusive territory.
The French Connection chain was a strong brand in the seventies, eighties and nineties. It targeted the upper end of the high-fashion market where people had money and a sense of continental style. It produced well-made clothes and designs were always quirky and interesting.
The launch of the FCUK branded T-shirt in 1997 marked a turn around in the identity of the company and possibly a shift toward a much younger less discerning market.
The company is now struggling. Revenue is falling and the bank balance is in the red to the tune of £3.6 million. This compares most unfavourably with a £5.1 million profit last year.
The new winter collection is now in the stores. It is hard hitting and echoes the essence of the old French Connection. This may presents a last chance for the company to pull back from the brink.
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