Berketex to be Littlewoods ‘St Michael’

Littlewoods womenswear sub-brand Berketex is being expanded to include menswear and home interior products and will eventually become the chain’s core brand.

The retail chain bought the Berketex brand from William Baird, the Edinburgh textiles and engineering group, earlier this year and launched it as part of its 3m advertising campaign over the summer.

Littlewoods managing director Bob Willett says he plans to use the Berketex name across the store’s womenswear, as well as menswear and selected homewear goods. It will become the Littlewoods brand name in much the same way as St Michael is for Marks and Spencer.

Currently the Berketex label is used in Littlewoods’ range of hosiery. Littlewoods picked up the Berketex brand as part of Willet’s five-year restructuring plan for the chain.

However, analysts say Willet’s decision to move Berketex into menswear is strange, as the label was formally associated with bridal wear.

Willet claims the Berketex brand is being gradually introduced to all stores as, previously, Littlewoods had a “relatively poor track record of performance improvement, innovation or operational consistency”.

Littlewoods could not confirm when the new Berketex branded merchandise would be launched. However, Willet is finalising details of the store’s 1996 advertising campaign.

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