Having completed a “strategic review,” Pentland Brands will be refocusing on its core brands: Speedo, Berghaus, Endura, Canterbury, Mitre, Ellesse, Kickers and SeaVees. To this end, it will “hibernate” the Boxfresh brand of men’s shoes and lay off about 350 employees from its headquarters in the U.K. According to Pentland Brands’ chief executive, Andy Long, the company began its strategic review before the onset of Covid-19, and it now expects the pandemic to “have a major impact” on its business for “the next 12-18 months” at least.
Meanwhile, Pentland is making more pledges with respect to sustainability, looking to embed “circular processes into the heart of our operations.” A sustainability review conducted last year sought to seek out “surplus materials and products.” Pentland is already selling “lightly worn returns” at two locations in the U.K., as well as samples and surplus stock elsewhere. Last year SeaVees set up in-store recycling at its flagship in Santa Barbara, California, inviting customers to return old SeaVees sneakers in exchange for a discount on a new pair. The program is set to become permanent.
Pentland relaunched the Uglies brand last year. Made by Canterbury, this line of clothing is made of surplus materials from other production runs. In 2019, for instance, some 12,000 meters of excess fabric went toward 11,500 T-shirts. The objective, stated on the corporate website, is to reduce Pentland’s carbon footprint by 25 percent while sending zero waste to landfill by 2025.
In addition to all these measures, Pentland will be making further investments in its digital platforms – notably its retail customer website, pentlandconnect.com.