Linda Bennett, founder of the LK Bennett chain, has made a return to the business she founded in 1990 and sold in 2008.
Bennett is believed to be working one day a week at the premium footwear and fashion retailer and is planning to help return it to her original vision of “a little bit of Bond Street on the high street”.
Considered to be one of the UK’s leading female entrepreneurs Bennett sold the chain, which she had founded with a store in Wimbledon Village, to Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity for £100m in 2008. A graduate of Cordwainer’s College (now part of London College of Fashion), Bennett became known as the “Queen of the Kitten Heel” and the brand, with its affordable luxury positioning, became a firm favourite, among others, of the Duchess of Cambridge.
When Bennett sold the business Robert Bensoussan, co-founder of Sirius Equity, became chairman and he also served as its CEO, most recently from 2014. He handed over the CEO reins to Topp last year and returned to the role of chairman.
Shareholders (and Bennett remains one of the largest along with Phoenix) injected a further £5m into the business recently to fund international expansion by adding stores in Russia, mainland China, Qatar and New York. The business currently operates around 130 stores of which 87 are in the UK.