Style Group Brands sold by KPMG administrators in bid to avoid mass layoffs

13 June 2017 3 min. read

The iconic womenswear retailers Style Group Brands, which ran into financial strife earlier this year, has been sold to a subsidiary of Calvetron Style Holdings for an undisclosed sum, in a deal advised by KPMG administrators. While the chain’s acquisition is set to save around 1,719 jobs across its global network, including 1,272 in the UK, around 272 jobs are still to be cut.

Style Group Brands, founded in 1972, is a UK-based fashion house and womenswear concession retailer, with various brands under its belt – including Jacques Vert, Precis Petite, Eastex, and Dash. The company has since expanded around the world, with 318 concessions, and 22 standalone stores, in the UK and Ireland, 7 in Belgium, 51 in Canada and 14 in the Middle East.

Before entering administration earlier in 2017, the company employed around 1,900 staff. Since then, Style Group have been searching for a buyer to secure their future. At the start of June KPMG’s Will Wright and Rob Croxen were appointed joint administrators of Style Group Brands, and with the consulting firm’s representatives quickly completing an agreement to sell the majority of the business and assets to a subsidiary of Calvetron Style Holdings.

While the deal, the value of which has not been disclosed, is expected to preserve the majority of jobs across Style Group Brands, with some 1,719 staff are anticipated to be secure, KPMG have noted that around 272 people still stand to be made redundant, including 98 at the company’s Head Office in Shoreditch along with warehouse workers based in County Durham – largely due to 17 independent Jacques Vert stores not being part of the sale.

Style Group Brands sold by KPMG administrators in bid to avoid mass layoffs

The recently announced deal with Calvetron, a new investment vehicle for businessmen Sandeep Vyas and Haseeb Aziz, was also backed by former chairman of the British Fashion Council, Harold Tillman. The wider market remains tough for high-street retailers, with pure play players, new business models and growing international competition putting pressure on a range of iconic British brands.

Joint administrator Will Wright, of KPMG, commented, “The deal rescues one of the UK’s leading concession retailers and will see the continued trading of four high street brands, preserving a large number of jobs. It is a positive outcome given the challenging economic pressures faced by retailers across the UK.”

Wright added, “Whilst a significant number of jobs have been preserved, sadly redundancies will be made. Over the coming days, our priority is to ensure all employees who have been affected by redundancy receive the information and guidance they need in order to claim their entitlement from the Redundancy Payments Office.”