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Four Marketing set to snap up Woodhouse

Brand agency Four Marketing is close to sealing a deal to buy Speciality Retail Group’s menswear fascia Woodhouse.
The acquisition will include the Woodhouse store at Bluewater in Essex and the rights to the Woodhouse name. The two other Woodhouse stores, in London’s Covent Garden and Cheshire Oaks retail park in Cheshire, will close and the sites will be handed back to the landlords.

Four Marketing supplied about 25% of the stock in Woodhouse’s Bluewater store, including brands such as Evisu, CP Company and Stone Island.

The deal will see the agency bolster its retail portfolio. It has a CP Company and Stone Island store in London’s Beak Street.
Four Marketing director Gino Prato said: “Woodhouse is an industry leader, and pending the deal we will focus on evolving the concept.”
Other brands sold by Woodhouse include Hugo Boss and Crow & Jester.

The business was founded in 1975 by Philip Start, now owner of London boutique business Start. SRG bought Woodhouse in 1998.

The existing Woodhouse management team will remain in place, including head of buying and merchandising John Gray.

 SRG has secured a refinancing package from its private equity owners Gresham and Barclays Bank. The cash will be used to expand its Suits You chain, reinvest in its Young’s Hire business and develop its Racing Green fascia.

SRG chief executive Steve Gipson said the UK could support 100 Suits You shops. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

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