The Morleys Group of department stores was understood to be close to acquiring independent department store Roomes of Upminster in Essex as Drapers went to press.
Morleys, which owns five independently branded department stores across south-east England, including London stores Elys of Wimbledon, Morleys in Brixton and Bodgers in Ilford, Essex, was in negotiations with Roomes as Drapers went to press and sources said a deal could come as early as next week.
Roomes has two separate stores on Upminster’s Station Road. One sells furniture and interiors, while fashion and homewares are stocked in the other. Clothing brands stocked include Planet, Jacques Vert and Gerry Weber.
Sources said they expected Morleys Group to revamp the stores, replicating the refurbishment of Elys, which took place in 2005 and cost about £4 million.
One department store source said: “Elys is performing really well so it would make a lot of sense to apply the Elys strategy to Roomes.”
Howard Ross, UK and Republic of Ireland country manager for womenswear brand Gerry Weber, said: “On the evidence of what Morleys has done in Wimbledon, it would be a very good acquisition and a positive move for Roomes.”
A young fashion brand agent added: “Roomes is a traditional store which could do with being updated.”