Region: UK,
Sector: Consumer

Nature of Business

Hobbs is a contemporary British fashion designer and retailer of women’s apparel, shoes and accessories, operating at the premium end of the UK market. Hobbs is synonymous with heritage British fashion, with a contemporary interpretation and a long-standing reputation for premium quality garments and attention to detail.

Hobbs opened its first store in Hampstead in 1981 and now has over 140 stores, throughout the UK and Ireland.

In Spring 2014, building on its current USA customer base via its online offering, Hobbs launched a partnership in the USA with Bloomingdale’s. The Company now offers its designs in a number of Bloomingdale’s stores including the 59th Street store in New York. In 2016 the business also launched department store concessions in Germany.

Investment Overview

We led the buyout of Hobbs in 2004 after building a strong working relationship with management, who selected us because of our retail sector expertise and international footprint.

Since our investment, Hobbs has significantly expanded its UK footprint and has overhauled its supply chain capabilities. The Hobbs’ customer is increasingly shopping multi-channel and online now accounts for over 20% of sales, delivering to 53 countries.

Hobbs’ ambition is to significantly increase its market share via a multi-channel strategy driven by in-depth customer insight, and to continue to build upon its market position in the UK whilst developing a strong international presence.

In January 2014, Phil Wrigley was appointed as Chairman; Phil brings over 30 years of international retail experience to Hobbs. He was formerly Chief Executive, and subsequently Chairman, of New Look where he transformed the business from a small cap, public company into the 3rd largest womenswear retailer in the UK with rapid global growth.

In July 2014, Meg Lustman was appointed as CEO. Meg brings significant international fashion retail experience through her previous roles at Aurora, Warehouse and John Lewis.

Regulatory notice: This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc.

3i office contact

16 Palace Street
London SW1E 5JD

Tel: +44 (0)20 7975 3131
Fax: +44 (0)20 7975 3232

Private Equity Team
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