Like most of the retail sector, Covid-19 has not been kind to Cath Kidston. The lifestyle brand went into administration in April, causing 900 jobs to be axed and 60 UK stores to close as part of a rescue deal with its Hong Kong-based owner.
High rents and rates, coupled with a shift in consumer behaviour and the severe impact of lockdown, took its toll on the business. A swift decision was taken to embark on a digital-first reboot, the core of a wider brand transformation project.
To achieve this mission, the business has brought in Rob Silsbury as digital director. He explains that while some brands “flippantly” view digital transformation as simply a website running alongside a traditional model, being truly digital requires a complete rethink of how the business is run.
“We’re going from a low double-digit percentage to 85% of our model [becoming] ecommerce and that requires a complete rehash of the way we look at the business, a complete restructure of how we think about what we do,” says Silsbury.