Jul 4, 2022
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Seasalt sale process halted on verge of Next deal - report

Jul 4, 2022

Only days after news that the sale process for Boots has been cancelled after prospective new owners failed to meet the expected price, it has emerged that fashion chain Seasalt has also scrapped its sale plans.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

A report in The Times said that the company had been very close to striking a deal to sell control to acquisitive fashion and homewares retail giant Next.

But the family-controlled business has now decided to call off the deal as market conditions remain turbulent, perhaps suggesting that it believes it can get a better price further down the line when economic conditions improve.

And its confidence could be well placed as the business has been growing strongly is in recent periods with consumers happy to buy into its Cornish lifestyle concept.

The company has been growing strongly in recent years and now has 70 shops across the UK with its founding family having put the 15-year-old retailer up for sale last autumn. That said, it's thought that brothers Leigh, Neil and David Chadwick hadn't been intending to step back from the business and would have retained a minority stake in it.

The company was originally founded as a Cornish store by the Chadwick's father 40 years ago, but the brothers began the process to turn it into the Seasalt we know today a decade-and-a-half ago, taking the label beyond the confines of Cornwall to the rest of the UK via physical shops, and abroad via online sales. The company also sells its products through third-party deals with big names such as Zalando and M&S.

The last news we heard directly from the firm was that it had enjoyed a strong Christmas trading period and that total sales in the year ending 29 January would be approaching £100 million. Christmas period sales rose 20% year-on-year and were up 33% compared to the last period before the pandemic.

And importantly, its physical stores were strong with footfall staying buoyant and overall store revenues surging 81% year-on-year and 23% compared to 2019.

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