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Etiquette linked to investment deal

Men’s hire concession business Etiquette is believed to be seeking investment to secure its future.

Etiquette, which operates concessionswithin a raft of independent menswear retailers and which partners with Baird Group to supply its hire departments in the Arcadia Group’s Burton stores and selected Debenhams shops, is believed to have been hit by the downturn in the £60m hire market.

The normally buoyant hire market has been knocked by a reduction in corporate events, as companies rein in their spending because of the recession. Pre-tax profit at the company
plummeted from £2.7m in 2007 to £53,000 in 2008, due to a huge rise in administrative expenses, which rocketed from £18,000 to £2.2m, according to figures filed at Companies

Sources in the menswear market told Drapers that several parties would be interested in investing in the business including Baird Group itself, whose parent companyArafa Holding owns the Young’s Hire business.One source said: “The hire market has fallen dramatically over the past 12 months. It would make sense for Baird to amalgamate Etiquette with Young’s.”
Menswear retailer Moss Bros is also thought to be interested in the Etiquette business. Moss has a large hirewear business, which it wants to expand. Moss is already trialling hire concessions within 11 Burton branches.

Etiquette declined to comment.

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