The concentration process in the British shoe retail sector is going on. One of the few successful footwear retailers in the country, Dune, has bought the Shoe Studio Group from Mosaic Fashions, which had put up the business for sale due to lack of financing from its Icelandic investors. The terms of the transaction could not be determined.
Eleven Shoe Studio stand-alone stores were not part of the takeover and will be shut down, costing 90 jobs. Dune is acquiring instread the group’s 300-odd concessions, which employ 1,660 people. The concessions are run under six different banners including Bertie, Pied à Terre, Roberto Vianni and the licensed Nine West brand.
The combined business is estimated to be able to generate annual sales of more than £150 million (€162m-$211m). It should benefit from major synergies in sourcing and product development. Dune, which has more than 40 stores and 30 shop-in-shops in the U.K. and 16 doors in Ireland, the Middle East and Russia, is run by John Egan, who until early 2008 was chief operating officer of Shoe Studio Group. Dune’s sales have grown by about 20 percent every year for the last five years.
The sale of Shoe Studio Group is part of a relatively fast clean-up of Mosaic Fashions’ stable of brands and banners. Almost immediately after Deloitte was appointed joint administrator of Mosaic, a new company, Aurora Fashions, bought its apparel retail chains - Warehouse, Oasis, Coast, Karen Millen and Anoushka G brands. Aurora is co-owned by the recently nationalized Kaupthing bank in Iceland and by members of Mosaic’s former management.
On the other hand, 66 stores in another women’s apparel chain operated by Mosaic, Principles, will close and the remaining assets have been bought by the Debenhams department store, site of 121 Principles concessions. Deloitte said it could not find a suitable buyer for Principles as a going concern. Debenhams also got a non-exclusive license to keep operating the Principles brand. In total, Principles had 94 stores and 306 concessions, with more than 2,300 employees.