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Mon Purse revamps US store strategy

Design-your-own handbag business Mon Purse is revamping its bricks-and-mortar presence in the US market.

After a much-publicised expansion to America through a deal with Bloomingdale’s in November 2016, the Australian e-commerce company has pulled out of the upmarket department store chain, and is gearing up to launch its first standalone store in New York City in a matter of weeks, Internet Retailing has learnt.

Mon Purse last year opened a store at a mall in New Jersey, which was billed as the company’s first standalone store in the US, according to a press release at the time. But COO Andrew Shub said the store was actually a pop-up. It closed in January.

Shub refuted the suggestion that Mon Purse has exited the US, although no mention of US stores appeared on the website at the time of this writing.

The e-commerce company currently lists its concessions in Selfridges in the UK and Myer in Australia, alongside its boutique in Paddington.

Shub said the company is “evaluating” its strategy in the US, the company’s biggest online market outside Australia, but was not willing to discuss it publicly.

“It’s not something we want cited for our competitors,” he said, “but we are very much committed to the US market.”

Shub said Mon Purse is about to open a new store in New York City, which will be listed on the website in the next few weeks.

He added that the business is committed to its concession model.

“It’s all part of the strategy as to how one rolls out. I wouldn’t want to create any misconception that we’re not committed to our concession business,” he said.

The revamp comes two months after Mon Purse founder Lana Hopkins announced her intention to step down as co-CEO and cease running the day-to-day operations of the company. She is still on the board and holds a minority stake in the business.

Hopkins told Internet Retailing she made the difficult decision to step down to pursue other ventures, but according to an April report in the AFR, some shareholders believe she was pushed out.

According to the AFR report, the value of the company has plunged from more than $30 million to $5 million.

“I cannot share any of those financial details from that point of view,” Shub said.

“All I can say is that we continue to grow and have very exciting times ahead both from a digital and bricks-and-mortar strategy.”

Toni Fourie, who was recently named as the new chairman of Mon Purse, is reportedly leading the search for a new CEO.

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