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Bra firm shuts down

Mone’s former lingerie company Ultimo closing

Ultimo message

Message is clear: the website spells the end for the brand


Lingerie firm Ultimo, launched by the Scottish entrepreneur Michelle Mone, is to cease trading, its staff have been told.

UK operations will be wound up at the end of June and the company confirmed that it will honour all financial commitments with suppliers and partners, and the rights of consumers will also be unaffected.

A formal redundancy consultation period for the 11 UK staff involved has now commenced.

A spokesperson for the East Kilbride company said: “The last few years have been extremely challenging for Ultimo, driven by increasing competition in the market and more cautious consumer spending due to the uncertainty surrounding the UK economy over the last 18 months.

“Having reviewed the business’ performance over the last three years as well as future prospects and considering the retail environment within which the business is operating; the board has, with regret, decided to cease operations of the Ultimo business in the UK.”

The spokesperson also added that the company “would like to thank all staff, customers and suppliers for their commitment, support and loyalty to the Ultimo brand over the years.”

Michelle Mone LordsLady Mone, pictured, launched Ultimo in 1999 with her husband Michael with whom she founded MJM International three years earlier.

The couple built up MJM into a £39m business, but following the breakdown of her relationship with her husband, Mone left the company briefly in 2013.

She then bought her husband out of MJM International and the business was transferred to a new company, Ultimo Brands International Ltd, in a 49/51% partnership with Sri Lanka based MAS Holdings. MJM International was then wound up.

In November 2014, Mone sold down her stake in Ultimo Brands International to 20% to partner MAS Holdings, and established fake-tan company UTan & Tone.

In August 2015, Lady Mone resigned her directorships of both MJM International Ltd and Ultimo Brands International Ltd citing that she had “Hung up her bra and sold 80% of Ultimo”.

Mone described her 17 years of building up the Ultimo brand as a “roller coaster ride” and was often credited more for her penchant for self-publicity and garnering free advertising through the columns of the tabloid press than for her business acumen.

These days she is said to command £25,000 to deliver a speech.

 



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