Knomo London bought by Manchester's Inc Retail
Premium accessories retailer Knomo London has been acquired by the newly formed Inc Retail Group that’s part of marketing agency Inc & Co.
It’s a first move into retail for the Manchester-based business and adds a further boost to the city that has, in recent years, become one of the UK’s most successful fashion hubs, being home to names such as Boohoo and Missguided.
Inc & Co CEO Jack mason said the firm has a three-year growth plan that includes diversifying its operations and reimagining the high street. “Acquiring Knomo was a natural move for us, with the brand’s exquisite range of backpacks, briefcases, and laptop bags already well-loved across the UK, making it the perfect brand to blend into the Inc Retail offering,” he added.
It will be interesting to see how the Knomo business now develops given its London studio and HQ and how London is a key part of its image. It even offers bags with names such as Grosvenor Place, Thurloe, Maddox, Kew, Hanover, Audley and Beauchamp — all of them London streets, squares or destinations. It also has two stores in the UK's capital city.
Knomo is seen as a key acquisition as Inc & Co moves into the retail sector with the firm saying it will be “instrumental” in its development under newly-appointed retail unit MD Dan Shaw.
Shaw’s CV includes time spent in senior roles at Jones Bootmaker, the UK arm of Gant, Tommy Hilfiger and at Intu Properties. While at the (now-failed) shopping malls giant, he was in charge of retail innovation. Intu may have collapsed under the weight of its huge debt load, but it had a reputation as one of the most forward-looking mall companies and Shaw was a key part of that in the earlier role.
Shaw said: “Having spent quite some time working in an advisory capacity with Jack and his team, there was a natural, clear synergy and shared vision with what we both want to achieve on the high street. It’s a very exciting opportunity that will allow me the freedom to draw upon my own experience to build a strong retail offer for the brands within the Inc Retail Group.”
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