What can and did go wrong

The former CFO of Superdry charts the journey from a small clothing company to an international super brand.

Chas Howe served as CFO of Superdry during the period it grew from a small clothing and retail business into a global player in the fashion industry. During his tenure the number of Superdry stores grew from a handful to over 200, across the UK, Europe, US, South America and Asia. Turnover, meanwhile, climbed from £41m to £314m.

At FD Surgery Manchester, taking place on November 2 at the Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel, Chas will talk about the fundamental characteristics of Superdry that made this explosive growth possible, including the company’s approach to brand, ethos and culture. He will talk about the business’s roll out strategy, that saw it target University cities around the world as well as its unconventional approach to advertising, celebrity endorsements and sales – it doesn’t have them!

But Chad will also speak frankly about the challenges he faced along this journey. When he arrived at Superdry, he found a management team highly averse to debt and so he was forced to make the company ruthlessly efficient, reducing debtor days from 71 to 35 to generate cash, using import loans, tackling slow-moving stock and keeping the number of suppliers low to that he could levy relationships. And then there were the difficulties involved in negotiating a challenging and high profile IPO process.

Chad will talk candidly to an audience of over 150 entrepreneurial finance directors of small and medium-sized businesses at FD Surgery Manchester. To join them simply register your place online.

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