Dec 21, 2020
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City Chic buys Arcadia's Evans for £23m, stores not included

Dec 21, 2020

Plus-size brand Evans is the first of Arcadia’s portfolio of labels to be sold with Australia’s City Chic Collective paying just £23 million for it.

Photo: Sandra halliday

However, while it has bought the brand, its webstore and wholesale business, the Evans store chain isn’t part of the deal. The chain will continue to trade for now, but Evans will be an online-only brand and its new owner "will be closing the few remaining standalone stores in due course".

The Evans brand has struggled as more and more fashion chains have introduced larger sizes into their fashion offer, as newer specialist brands have entered its sector and as its parent company failed to capitalise quickly on the online explosion.

The company said Evans generated £23 million online in the 12 months to August with another £3 million in wholesale revenues.

City Chic is a listed business whose main operations are in Australia and New Zealand, although it also operates in other countries. The plus-size specialist has 96 stores across Australia and New Zealand, plus an online and wholesale operation in the US, as well as wholesale ops with European and UK partners. Its brands include City Chic, Avenue, CCX, Hips & Curves and Fox & Royal, plus Evans as of December 23 when the deal is set to complete.

“Our vision has always been to lead a world of curves,” said Phil Ryan, CEO of City Chic Collective. “Evans is the perfect addition to the CCC family, I have been following Evans for a long time, partnering with them to sell City Chic for the last five years. I am in awe of the heritage brand that is Evans. It is the UK’s leading specialty apparel brand serving curvy women. Quality, comfort, value, and most importantly, fit, are hallmarks we will maintain with Evans.”

Meanwhile, Deloitte said talks around the other Arcadia brands are ongoing with “significant expressions of interest” for all of them. We’re unlikely to hear any more developments before the New Year, however.

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