George Davies, the English – high street fashion designer who launched Next, George at Asda and Marks & Spencer’s Per Una, is in talks with Wm Morrison about designing a Private Brand clothing line for the grocery chain.
The Bradford, England based supermarket has been negotiating with Mr Davies as it looks to make its first foray into fashion retailing. Securing the services of the man who created three of the high streets best-known brands would be a coup for Dalton Philips, Morrisons’ new chief executive who is keen to expand the chain beyond just food.
The move would see Mr Davies return to supermarket retailing after more than a decade away. He left Asda in 2000 before he launched Per Una for M&S. Producing a successful Private Brand for Morrisons would also allow Mr Davies to atone for the relative failure of his latest venture GIVe, which has been closing stores recently having launched in October 2009. GIVe, which is a play on “George IV” as it was his fourth line, was seen as too expensive and high-end by typical mass-market customers.
Renowned in equal measure for being a fashion genius but also difficult and mercurial, Mr Davies has always said that he is not a corporate man.
“Fifty per cent of people love me, fifty per cent can’t bloody stand me,” he has said.
Mr Davies got his big break in 1982 when he turned the Hepworth menswear chain into Next. The retailer’s Directory cataloge was a huge success but a fallout over strategy led to Mr Davies being ousted. He then created George at Asda; the low-price clothing line that has global sales of more than £2bn.
Source: The Telegraph