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Arcadia's plus size brand Evans bought by Australia's City Chic Collective

Lauretta Roberts
21 December 2020

Plus-size brand Evans has become the first of Arcadia's brands to be sold with administrators securing a deal to sell it to Australia's City Chic Collective, however the deal does not include its bricks and mortar stores.

City Chic will pay £23m for the 90-year old brand, Deloitte has announced this morning, with the deal expected to complete on Wednesday.

Sir Philip Green's Arcadia, which also owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, collapsed into administration three weeks ago, after months of worries surrounding it and other high street giants.

A number of potential bidders are circling the remaining Arcadia brands with Topshop viewed as the prize asset and for which Deloitte is apparently hoping to secure £200m.

Potential purchasers in the frame include Marks & Spencer, Boohoo, Tesco (which is said to have a particular interest in Dorothy Perkins) and Mike Ashley's Frasers Group. Next has reportedly held talks with asset manager Davidson Kempner Capital Management over a potential joint bid.

Administrators said on Monday that “the process to secure new owners for the other Arcadia Group brands is ongoing. There have been significant expressions of interest for all brands. The joint administrators expect to provide a further update in the new year.”

The Evans deal includes both the brand and its e-commerce and wholesale business. City Chic is a retailer that specialises in plus-size women’s apparel, footwear and accessories.

It is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and mainly operates online in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Its brands include Avenue, CCX, Hips & Curves, and Fox & Royal. City Chic also has a network of 96 stores across Australia and New Zealand.

The Evans stores will “continue to trade for the time being”, administrators said. Evans operates five standalone stores with a total of 25 staff, which will be affected by the deal. It also operates from up to 100 concessions and multi-brand sites, such as from within Arcadia's multi-brand Outfit stores and branches of Tesco.

Evans was formed in 1930 in the UK, and sells plus-size apparel and footwear. In the most recent financial year its website was visited about 19m times, and generated £23m of sales. The wholesale business had sales of around £3m in the same period.

Read our history of Arcadia's brand portfolio here.

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