Evans’ acquisition forces split of Arcadia’s brands, leaving Wallis and Burton Menswear most at risk

Following the news that Arcadia brand Evans has been bought out of administration by Australian retail group City Chic Collective, Chloe Collins, Senior Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on the situation:

“City Chic’s specialism in plus size fashion means that Evans fits perfectly within its portfolio of brands, and also allows it further expansion into the UK market. Evans’ stores however have not been included in the acquisition, and will close. The brand’s store estate had already been significantly downsized as a result of Arcadia’s CVA in 2019, with its locations lacking destination appeal and struggling to compete with strong online players in the plus size market such as Simply Be and Curvissa, as well as more inspiring plus size ranges by retailers such as New Look, ASOS and Next.

“This acquisition now means that hopes of potential bidders for a deal involving all of the Arcadia group’s brands has been quashed. Splitting up the brands does seem to be the best way to give them the best chance of survival, as their different niches and core customers mean they need more targeted attention. While there is no doubt that Topshop will attract multiple bids, with the likes of Boohoo and Next reportedly interested, Wallis and Burton Menswear are Arcadia’s brands most at risk of extinction, due to waning relevance and the redundancy of their formalwear ranges amidst the pandemic.”

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