Frasers Group, where distressed brands go to live

The press is making a big deal about the claim that Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has been “frozen out” of the auction to acquire brands from the recently collapsed Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group. It is the Sunday Telegraph on November 8 that says this but business news in any Sunday newspaper has always a bit suspect as most people know; much of the so-called ‘news’ is simply PR. The Sunday Times is notorious for this and none the worse for it in my opinion as I suspect most readers are in on the joke.


The truth I suspect is simply that Mike Ashleigh wants it known that he may be interested on one or more of the brands and possibly got a bit frustrated with the advisors at FRP Advisory being slow off the mark. Frasers Group accused FRP of, “refusing to provide or providing very slowly the normal information a buyer would expect”. But again, this was probably just FRP not having caught up with the workload.

Karen Millen lives

Either way, who wouldn’t bite Ashley’s hand off when he has bought so many brands in the last few years. They generally go for very little given that the deal must come with some stock. One of his better buys, Karen Millen is all over the Internet, on an eponymous web site, Brand Alley, Asos, House of Fraser (obvs), Amazon, John Lewis and Very.

Beats ending up in Tesco

The point is, the brand still has a life of its own in contrast to ending up as a range of tights on a supermarket shelf , like so many others. I wish Ashley well with his other brand purchases. It’s not classy and it’s not sexy, but it’s good business.

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