SUPERDRY chief Julian Dunkerton is an engaging fellow and there is every reason to wish him well as he battles to turn around the company he fathered.
The share price tells its own story, down another 12% today to 133p. For perspective, they were above 2000p in January 2018 (they floated at 500p in 2010, making Dunkerton the richest market trader geezer in Cheltenham, ever).
Dunkerton has a huge amount of work to do, not least repairing the errors of previous management, who seemed to have little care or understanding of the brand and why people like it.
The obvious thing to do would be to take the business private so that overhaul can be done away from the glare of the stock market.
Since the market cap is presently below £110 million, that would seem easy to arrange. Dunkerton himself plus a few supportive investors could buy it and leave him to do his thing.
Dunkerton says he does not mind the scrutiny that comes from being on the stock market and, perhaps typically, says he doesn’t want to take out investors on the cheap. (He could chuck in some shirts to sweeten the deal.)
He also thinks such a move would be a distraction just now, given the number of fights he and every retail chief presently have to win in order to stay alive.
But what Superdry excels at is being just a little bit cool. Forget the garish hoodies, and look at the stylish leather jackets that look good on your 18 year-old son, and which you like to pretend you can still carry off.
A stock market listing is a rather middle-aged thing. It is respectable, but it comes with tedious levels of responsibility. It doesn’t work for Superdry.