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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 has 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, and franchise stores in the UAE and Sweden.

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 five Bloomingdale’s shops including the 59th Street shop in New York.

Investment Overview

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

Since our investment, Hobbs has delivered a number of exciting and transformational initiatives. These include providing the platform for further significant growth through supply chain capability and head office functions, with a new headquarters in London’s premium retail district. 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 to develop a strong international presence.

In 2014, Phil Wrigley was appointed as Chairman, bringing over 30 years of international retail experience to Hobbs and Meg Lustman was appointed Chief Exceutive Officer. Meg brings over 20 years of fashion retail experience gathered from a number of roles across leading players in the industry.  Most recently she was at John Lewis where she held the position of Buying Director of Fashion, responsible for clothing, accessories, footwear and beauty.

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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