LONDON — Sales fell and losses widened last year at Anya Hindmarch, the British accessories brand that has been seeking fresh ways to capture the consumer’s imagination and appeal to a new generation of shoppers.
In the 12 months to Dec. 31, 2017, the company said turnover fell 10 percent 37.2 million pounds, while pretax losses more than doubled to 28.2 million pounds, compared with the previous year.
In a bid to sharpen up its retail portfolio, the company also closed eight of its smaller stores and concessions in the U.K. and Japan, including ones at House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols.
The 2017 financial results were filed with Companies House, the official register of U.K. businesses, this week.
Anya Hindmarch has 33 points of sale, including flagships, concessions, and franchises, in prime locations across the U.K., the U.S. and Asia, and the company said it continues to maintain firm partnerships with key retailers and explore opportunities to expand its presence in select locations and through digital, pop-up concepts and retail partnerships.
Going forward it is planning increased investment in digital and experiential customer engagement, including projects and activations.
Last year saw a strategy shift for the brand, which has decided to forgo runway shows in favor of consumer-facing projects and events. In February the designer, who is known for her cheeky sense of humor and quirky designs, filled the London skies and festooned the city’s monuments with 30 gigantic red chubby heart balloons.
Last month during London Fashion Week, she created a three-day event called Chubby Cloud by Anya Hindmarch, taking over Banqueting House in Westminster with big, fat beanbag clouds, where guests could jump, vault, flop and rest as they listened to concerts, readings and guided meditations.
The events were sold out, with more than 3,000 people attending, while the small, on-site gift shop generated sales akin to those of Anya Hindmarch’s Bond Street store on the first day of the event.
“The old retail model is no longer the right retail model and now is the time to be brave,” said Hindmarch.
“We are making tough decisions to ensure the business is best placed for the fast-changing consumer environment. Now, more than ever, we are focused on finding new and creative ways to engage with our customers. We are at the beginning of this journey but we are delighted by the success of our initial direct-to-consumer campaigns, including Chubby Hearts and Chubby Clouds.”
During fiscal 2017, the company also launched Build a Bag, a collection that allows customers to build their own bag immediately by choosing a base model in soft leather and adding straps, handles and charms. The concept rolled out globally through pop-ups with retail partners. The first pop-up was at Barneys New York and generated sales of $150,000 in one week.
The company introduced a home fragrance line called Anya Hindmarch Smells with license partner United Perfumes, and created a line of accessories dedicated to the mobile phone, including cross-body straps, wristlets, stickers and charms.
During the year, the company named a new chief executive officer, Antoine Bejui. He succeeded Francesco Giannaccari, who left his post after a year.
Bejui is the former chief financial officer of Balmain which, like Anya Hindmarch, counts Mayhoola for Investments as a part owner. He was already a member of the Anya Hindmarch board, and in his new role as ceo reports to the Mayhoola board. Last year, Mayhoola invested 16 million pounds into Anya Hindmarch.