Outlook: Knotted ties

ROY BISHKO, the perennially upbeat South African who runs Tie Rack, hates it when people call his creation a niche retailer. This, he claims is an outrageous slur on his company, associating it with 1980s implosions like Sock Shop and Knickerbox. Instead he claims Tie Rack is "a specialist retailer" which happens to focus on "neckwear" and other associated items.

This is an interesting distinction. But even if he is right, Tie Rack has certainly established something of a niche for itself of late - that of issuing profit warnings. And though the company does not exactly have the field to itself at the moment, it is looking remarkable accomplished at it, having issued four in a year.

The shares rose a bit yesterday on the return of Nigel McGinley to the chief executive's chair, but the bald fact is that Tie Rack has lost 90 per cent of its value in the last two years. This is a destruction of shareholder value on a truly Olympian scale.

What has gone wrong has been well-chronicled. The company was hit by the strong pound and in particular the slump in Asian economies. Its overweight position in airports suffered with the collapse of business class travel. There were also buying mistakes, which left the group with unwanted stock.

Today the company has a market value of just pounds 15m, even though the business contains pounds 11m of cash. This must be tempting to financial buyers, though the 37 per cent stake held by Vadep, an obscure Swiss investment trust, is obviously a deterrent. The other option is for Mr Bishko to take Tie Rack private himself. But if he tried that at current prices, the City would string him up - probably by using one of his own brightly coloured pieces of specialist neckwear.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate