London department store Liberty has announced plans for a public offering in 2018. Ahead of the IPO, the retailer has also announced extensive expansion plans to increase its share of the market.
The retailer said it would be expanding current product lines and building a number of wholesale accounts. Marco Capello, Executive Chairman at Liberty, said: "We are selecting very few stores and we will not sell to more than one store per city." The retailer does not currenly have any plans to open up more stores outside of its London flagship.
Capello insisted that the IPO was not intended to raise money. Instead he said that the offering was to allow the brand to retain its independence. He told WWD: "There will be no uncertainty for people who work in Liberty. They're not going to get a new owner. I will stay on as Chairman and the people who work here will know that the management will not change."
Wholesale partners will be offered products on an exclusive basis, as part of the brand's plans to retain its reputation. Capello said: "The one thing I've learned over the years is how not to ruin a brand. We'll give the store an exclusive period, and in exchange, they're going to provide us with a location that is appropriate for us and for the designs so that it feels limited."
Liberty sells a range of own-label cosmetics products featuring its iconic prints as well as a broad range of premium cosmetic products in its flagship Great Marlborough Street department store. The company is currently owned by BlueGem Capital Partners, which purchased the firm for £32m in 2010 and will celebrate its 140th anniversary this September.