Clipper secures deal with new fashion chain

Andy Bond, the former Asda chief executive, has co-founded Pep & Co a budget fashion chain which will soon have a presence on the high street with 50 outlets expected to be open by August.

Andy Bond, the former Asda chief executive, has co-founded Pep & Co a budget fashion chain which will soon have a presence on the high street with 50 outlets expected to be open by August.

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CLIPPER Logistics, the firm that distributes goods for blue chip retailers, has won a contract with new budget fashion chain Pep & Co to ​provide warehousing, returns management and other logistics services.

The contract follows the news that Pep & Co, founded by former Asda CEO Andy Bond, plans to create 500 new jobs across the UK.

It will open its first store in Kettering in July and expects to have 50 outlets up and running by the end of August, selling family fashion and homewares on the high street.

Pep & Co​ is to open an initial 15 stores including one in Hull and said others will be opening in Yorkshire over the summer.

Leeds-based Clipper will service the Pep & Co account from its distribution centre at Swadlincote.

​Steve Parkin​, e​xecutive ​c​hairman of Clipper, said: “This follows closely on the heels of several new contract wins for Clipper including a new ten year contract with John Lewis Partnership and the new Zara e-fulfilment contract.

​“​This clearly demonstrates the very significant progress made by the ​g​roup since its flotation last year. Our innovative, solutions driven approach to retail logistics makes Clipper class leading and the go to provider of logistics services in the UK.”

Clipper’s ​chief financial officer David Hodkin added: “It’s a significant contract win particularly given the parentage and the people behind Pep & Co.

“We’ll be providing receipt, warehousing and dispatch of product to stores. They chose us because they are aware of our expertise. We are a retail specialist - it’s all we do. We focus on being the expert in the field and we’re now the go-to provider in the UK and Germany.”

​Pep & Co was founded by Mr Bond and South African billionaire Christo Weise.

Mark Jackson, ​chief financial officer of Pep & Co, said “Clipper ​will play a pivotal role in helping us deliver family fashion at amazing prices in our new high street stores.”

​While discount general stores such as Poundland and Poundworld and discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have thrived during the downturn, budget clothing retailers have failed to make much of an impact.

While Primark is seen as a low cost, high fashion alternative to Marks & Spencer and Next, its prices are still relatively high.

Pep & Co’s biggest rival will be Asda’s George range, which has managed to combine heavily discounted clothing ranges with fashion and quality.

Pep & Co will sit on secondary high street locations where there is a lack of clothing rivals.

​The chain will open 50 stores over eight weeks from the beginning of July in a £20m roll-out pr​o​gramme.

​Earlier this month Clipper​ signed a new long term contract with ​fashion chain Zara.

Clipper will provide e-fulfilment services for the Zara brand from a new distribution centre in Northampton​. ​

The group said the site will provide over 340,000 square feet of space.

Under the terms of the contract, Clipper will fulfil Zara’s online orders in a number of European countries.

The deal follows the news earlier this year that Clipper has a strong pipeline of new business, which is expected to provide momentum into 2016.

The firm, which counts Asda, Morrisons, John Lewis and Asos among its customers, is benefiting from the growing popularity of online retailing.

Clipper said it saw growth from virtually all its e-fulfilment customers, particularly over the pre-Christmas trading period.

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