Monsoon slashes number of shops in half

Monsoon slims down for end of lockdown as it slashes number of shops in half

  • The chain has 66 stores – compared to 125 before the pandemic
  • Chief executive Nick Stowe said the chain had invested heavily in technology

Fashion chain Monsoon has slimmed down for the reopening of high streets this week by slashing the number of shops by half.

The chain has 66 stores – compared to 125 before the pandemic – after a radical overhaul under chief executive Nick Stowe.

Stowe said the ‘painful’ process had seen the chain invest heavily in digital technology.

Overhaul: Fashion chain Monsoon has cut the number of its stores to 66

The company will tomorrow launch a boutique-style store in Marylebone High Street in London and there are plans for that to be copied in other Monsoon outlets.

Stowe told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The pandemic has hurt. It’s impacted a lot of lives – employees and landlords.

‘But we can’t cling to things that aren’t working for the business. You just end up in an endless string of restructurings and apologies to those affected. We had to get to the right number of stores.’

The group, owned by fashion mogul Peter Simon, had considered ditching all of the stores after it fell into administration. 

But Stowe said: ‘This is a romantic brand. There’s a lot here to talk about that works well in a retail setting. Monsoon is the kind of brand that will really benefit if we do it well in shops.’

He added that some of the stores would be moved into smaller units nearby when opportunities become available. 

The process will also involve splitting Monsoon from ‘dual’ stores it occupies with sister brand Accessorize. 

He said without the pandemic, the process to resize the chain would have taken five years.