Hails & Fails – April 23rd 2021
It’s been a big week for fashion PR in the UK. As the weather warms up and we’re all enjoying some much-needed sunshine, our hearts were equally warmed by Primark, our employment prospects were boosted by H&M and our environmental credentials were improved by Mulberry. Not such a great week for top-rank football teams like Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC though as their ‘surprise’ plans for a European Super League couldn’t have played out in a more disastrous fashion.
Primark to repay £121million in furlough cash after record sales
Primark will pay £121million in furlough support back to the UK Treasury after record sales.
Owner Associated British Foods said the decision comes despite stores remaining closed for most of the autumn and winter period, leading to revenues and profits plunging.
Chief executive George Weston said the repayments would be made because stores will become cash generative following the easing of restrictions in England and Wales, where 40% of Primark selling space is located. Bravo! And tonnes of positive coverage to boot.
H&M offers free 24-hour suit hire to help those with job interviews
Looking for a suit for an interview but struggling to afford it? H&M will now let you hire one for 24 hours for free. The brand has launched One/Second/Suit in a bid to equip jobseekers with an outfit that makes them feel confident during interviews.
H&M says: ‘A suit isn’t an outfit. It’s confidence. A signal to the world and a reminder to yourself you’ve got what it takes.’ Style the suit your way. Maybe you’ll keep it classic. Maybe you’ll pare it back. However, you wear it hold your head up high.’ At a time when unemployment caused by Covid is at an all-time-high – this fab initiative has, rightly, won plaudits everywhere.
Mulberry launches Made to Last Manifesto to mark 50th anniversary
To mark its 50th anniversary Mulberry has announced the launch of its Made to Last Manifesto, laying out its commitment to transform the business into a regenerative and circular model by 2030.
Among its pledges, launched on World Earth Day this week, the fashion brand will pioneer a hyper-local, hyper-transparent ‘farm to finished product’ supply chain model and develop the world’s lowest carbon leather sourced from a network of environmentally conscious farms.
It has also vowed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2035, continue to extend the life of Mulberry products through repair and restoration plus; buyback, resell or repurpose any Mulberry bag as well as extend its commitment to being a real Living Wage employer by working with our network of suppliers to achieve the same. Brilliant!
European Super League turns England’s Big 6 football clubs into national villains
They didn’t talk to fans, or even their own managers and players, yet England’s big 6 football clubs – Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea – were all signed up to the announcement of the hugely controversial European Super League this week.
If we needed any evidence that brands who don’t talk to their customers are destined to fail, the country-wide fan backlash gave it to us – with condemnation of the ‘launch’ from pretty much every quarter.
Cue red-faces and hugely embarrassing climb downs from all the football clubs involved – and a premature death to the ESL within 48 hours of it being announced. A disgrace from start to (premature) finish.
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