May 30, 2017
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Harold Tillman could offer turnaroud lifeline to Jacques Vert

May 30, 2017

Retail veteran Harold Tillman may have been frustrated in his attempt to win back the Jaeger brand he once owned, but reports suggest that he could lead a group of investors working on a rescue deal for embattled Style Group.

Jacques Vert

The fashion retail group controls a basket of middle-market brands including occasionwear specialist Jacques Vert, coats brand Windsmoor, smart day and occasionwear label Eastex, casualwear brand Dash and petites specialist Precis.

This Is Money reported Tillman’s possible link to the rescue plan but said he had declined to comment on it.

Style Group has reportedly called in KPMG, which was earlier advising it on a turnaround plan, to handle an administration filing if no deal can be reached to refinance and restructure the business.

The company, which has seen several changes of CEO in recent years, had been talking up its improved performance as recently as a year ago. But the tougher times for the UK retail in recent months have combined with a shift in its core customer’s thinking. The company has revamped its product in recent years but has struggled to compete against more trend-driven brands.

Its customer now has on-trend brands where she can spend her money with Mint Velvet, Whistles, Jigsaw, Coast, Phase Eight and Joules all targeting its market. The company operates from concessions in stores such as Debenhams and House of Fraser, as well as via John lewis’s online site, but all of those stores are also offering own brands that compete with Style Group’s offer.

The stakes are high as a rescue plan is worked out. Owned by Sun European Partners, the group trades from 1,850 concessions and stores in the UK, Europe and Canada and has over 1,000 employees.

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