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Reiss reports strong Christmas numbers as owner eyes a buyer

Lauretta Roberts
27 January 2020

Reiss has posted an 18% increase in like-for-like sales (with total sales up 21%) in the seven weeks to 8 January amid reports that its private equity owner Warburg Pincus is looking for a buyer for the premium fashion chain.

UK like-for-like sales at the retailer, led by CEO Christos Angelides, were up 15% (total UK sales were up 19%) and the company said the strong Christmas came on the back of a positive performance in 2019 during which is defied tough market conditions.

“We are pleased that Reiss has performed strongly over the Christmas period, which is a continuation of the momentum we have seen throughout the whole of 2019,” Angelides said.

“Looking ahead, as we start the new year, I am encouraged by the early sell-through of our spring/summer collections and the continued expansion of our business internationally.”

Recently there has been media speculation that Warburg Pincus, which acquired its majority holding in Reiss in 2016 for £100m in a deal that valued the business at £230m, was looking to find a buyer. It has not commented on the latest reports that it has appointed Rothschild to look into a sale.

In May of last year Warburg Pincus scotched talk it was looking for an "imminent" exit saying it was "categorically untrue" that bankers were about to be appointed.

Reiss was founded in 1971 by David Reiss, who retains a sizeable stake in the firm following the Warburg Pincus deal. He handed the CEO reins to Angelides, who made his name at Next, in 2017. The company operates around 225 points of sale in 15 countries, with 82 standalone stores, 104 department store concessions and 40 wholesale and franchise points of sale.

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