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Aurora restructures its business in bid for omni-channel growth

Wednesday March 6th 2013

Aurora Fashions, the owner of Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, has announced plans to restructure its business as it embarks on the next phase of omni-channel growth.

The new structure will see the Coast fashion brand become a standalone business while Oasis and Warehouse will be established under a single parent company Fresh Channel. Liz Evans, managing director of Oasis and Warehouse, has been appointed as chief executive of the new business.

Aurora said its senior management team members will continue to work together over the next 12 to 18 months to support the brands through the transition, after which time Aurora will cease to exist.

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Aurora chairman Derek Lovelock explained: “Retailing is no longer about gearing your operating model around bricks and mortar, something we have realised as a result of our omni-channel success. Instead, our businesses must adapt and utilise a number of distribution channels to ensure we continue to capitalise on the changing global retail environment.

“This will create a de-layered management structure with operations realigned around an omni-channel model rather than traditional bricks and mortar, which is their heritage. Combining the two young-fashion brands will enable the management team to exploit economies of scale and to move innovation at pace. The brands’ unique identities will be further developed and consistently delivered across all channels.”

Mike Shearwood, Aurora chief executive, added: “De-layering our businesses enables us to maximise the capabilities we have built through our channels over the last two years. This will allow us to create independent, agile organisations, where the management teams have full control and autonomy to deliver their strategies, so that they can provide their global customer base with more choice.”

Coast, as an independent company, will continue to focus on occasionwear, with more flagship openings, a new website and continued international expansion.

Aurora said that the new structure would enable Coast and Fresh Channel to capitalise on the changing dynamics of channel share and to achieve "significant" cost savings.

Liz Evans said: “Oasis and Warehouse are two iconic, high street British fashion brands that have gained international recognition for their innovative approach to omni-channel retailing. I am privileged to be working with two exceptional management teams. Together, I know we will drive strong performance and continue to surprise and delight our customers around the globe.”