Moss Bros group marketing manager Andrew Barclay said the group’s PR strategy under Ashby would focus on each individual business, including the Cecil Gee, Moss and Hugo Boss retail chains and Moss Hire business, rather than on the group as a whole.
PR activity will continue to centre on events and press shows, but with greater focus on differentiating between its range of brands, which also includes Blazer, Savoy Tailors Guild, Beale & Inman and Canali. Within these, suit prices range from £50 to £6,500.
PR was until now handled by Rycroft Communications but Barclay said bringing PR in-house would ensure a better understanding of the business drivers and volume of work facing each brand.
‘The brands are very separate and every business needs to be treated individually,’ said Barclay. ‘It’s such a big company that we need someone working alongside me so that marketing and PR can work together.’
Barclay said the logic for taking greater control of its PR function was ‘to prepare the business for growth’.
The move follows several difficult years after a failed development of a new brand. A recovery plan was implemented in 2002 and the group recorded its first profit in four years in the second half of last year.
Gross margins also rose by 11 per cent in the first half of 2003 following a reduction in stock levels and an increase in full price sales.