Distributor and marketing firm Fourmarketing has bought east London-based menswear independent Present out of administration, adding to its growing retail portfolio of premium destination stores.
Fourmarketing bought the indie, based at 140 Shoreditch High Street, for an undisclosed sum after administrators were appointed earlier this month.
Ben Banks, co-founder and director of Fourmarketing, said it represented a “great opportunity” because of its reputation internationally.
“Present is an icon of niche independent retailing and regularly features on the top 10 stores to visit in London. It has a lot of presence and resonance in higher-level retail. It’s a destination store – visitors to London will seek it out.”
Banks said the business, founded by Steve Davies and Eddie Prendergast in 2009, may stock Fourmarketing brands – which include Stone Island and CP Company – going forward.
“We worked with Present in the past but we had difficulty maintaining the supply of goods, so we have an opportunity to rebuild that business.”
He added: “The first job is to unravel the company and spend the first six to 12 months getting it back to where it was. I’m confident we can do that – there is a lot of goodwill towards the business and support from suppliers.”
Prendergast will stay on as a creative consultant.
Fourmarketing launched its own retail concept, 18 Montrose, in Glasgow in March, and opened a second store in Nottingham earlier this month. A third site will open in London by the end of the year.
“We have been encouraged by 18 Montrose so far,” said Banks. “We are trading within budget – some weeks above, some below – and we have had positive feedback from brands and consumers.”
Present will help it to broaden its offer, he added: “18 Montrose is a little bit more fashion and sportswear, whereas Present is more modern heritage with some Britishness thrown in.”
“We need to make sure the retail we do is more progressive than others. We are aiming high. We don’t want to go into areas that are well covered. We want to elevate brands – that’s fundamental to what we do.”
Banks said Fourmarketing is not looking to acquire more businesses this year: “By the end of the year we will have opened and acquired 15,000 sq ft of retail space, so will be drawing breath.”
Sports Direct bought a 25% stake in Fourmarketing last September.