JD Sports wins Pretty Green, 11 stores to close
today Apr 4, 2019
Pretty Green, the 10-year-old menswear label founded by Oasis front man Liam Gallagher, is now owned by acquisitive retail giant JD Sports. It's the latest move in a giant buying spree by JD that has seen it snapping up UK-based Footasylum, plus America’s Finish Line and Spain’s Sport Zone.
Pretty Green may be smaller than those operations, but it’s a high-profile and popular brand. However, it ran into difficulties due to the current weak environment and particularly due to money owed when House of Fraser failed last year.
Up until then, with turnover close to £40 million and losses contracting sharply, it looked like it could be a survivor, despite the tough market. But after several weeks of rumours, Simon Thomas and Nicholas O’Reilly of Moorfields Advisory were appointed as joint administrators on March 28.
The appeal of the brand is clear from the fact that there was a queue of interested bidders and that a deal has been done very quickly. But it’s not clear how much JD Sports paid for the label, nor whether the previous shareholders, including Liam Gallagher, will receive any money from the sale.
So what does the sale include? JD hasn’t bought the whole business. It now owns the brand itself, plus its e-tail and wholesale ops and its Manchester flagship store, with 67 employees staying on. But with 11 stores and 33 concessions inside House of Fraser closing with immediate effect, as many as 97 people will lose their jobs.
Simon Thomas said: “We are pleased to have secured the sale. We have worked hard over the last few weeks in challenging circumstances to secure the best outcome. Pretty Green is a popular brand and received a considerable amount of interest. We are confident that JD Sports is the right fit for the business and will help to grow its online and wholesale channels.”
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