Scotts & Co acquires Rowlands Clothing
Multi-channel retailer Scotts & Co has acquired the catalogue and online businesses of Rowlands Clothing and Rosemex Trading from their private equity backers.
The move comes just two months after mid-market fashion brand Rowlands went into administration for the second time in two and a half years.
Rowlands was acquired by Rosemex Trading in February 2012 after the retailer entered administration for the first time. The business was founded in 1983 and was originally known as Rowlands of Bath.
Scotts & Co has now acquired both businesses, including the customer database and all intellectual property, and now plans to relaunch Rowlands under its former name in February 2015.
Nigel Swabey, chairman of Scotts & Co said: “This is a business that lost its way under private equity ownership and which needs to return to its roots. The process of restoring this great brand to its former glory needs to start with a complete re-design and re-balancing of the product range. Our aim is to create a new collection that honours the tradition of Rowlands of Bath as a retailer of high quality women’s clothing for the discerning customer aged 55+. The new Rowlands collection will appeal to customers who appreciate the classic elegance of great British brands.”
Rowlands is the latest in a string of acquisitions made by Wiltshire-based Scotts & Co over the past five years. The group now comprises 10 brands, each of which has its own website and catalogue, to make it the largest multi-title catalogue and online retailer in the UK that is still in private ownership.
Rowlands of Bath operations will be consolidated at the group’s head office in Wiltshire and its buying and design office will be co-located with the group's Artigiano brand at its new London offices in Ealing.
Swabey added: “I am delighted that we have at last been able to fulfil our ambition of acquiring the Rowlands brand. I am confident that the brand will prosper under our ownership. I know of no other multi-channel retailer that is better suited to act as custodian of this precious brand than Scotts & Co. We know from direct experience, that the demographic of our customer database is ideally suited to the Rowlands Clothing proposition.
“It is going to take some time to re-shape and re-build the product range. We look forward to re-launching the Rowlands business in February 2015, under the same name that Marjorie and David Rowland Jones chose for it in 1983 – Rowlands of Bath Ltd.”
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