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Investor drives retail growth at Bandolera

Dutch womenswear group Bandolera will open a raft of stores this year after investment firm GIMV acquired a majority stake in the business for an undisclosed sum.

The stake in the group, which includes the Bandolera and Not The Same labels, was bought via GIMV’s Dutch subsidiary, Halder, for an undisclosed sum. Bandolera’s previous owner and chief executive Jan Lems has been replaced as chief executive by Jan Bezemer, but Lems will remain a director at the firm.

Bezemer, who was previously director responsible for retail, told Drapers: “GIMV is purely a financial partner. From an operational and strategic point of view there will be no change.”

He added: “We wanted a strong financial partner to make growth possible.”

Bandolera has 50 stores and five Not The Same stores worldwide, and plans to open a further 35 shops this year across both brands. Bezemer said it would focus on expanding in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, where it already has stores. It is also set to launch wholesale into new markets including France, Canada and the US, with the possibility of opening stores there in the future. It currently has 2,400 stockists globally.

Separately, Bandolera has acquired Dutch outerwear business MD Fashion Company. The firm supplies coats and jackets to brands and also has its own label, Cocoro New York.

Bezemer said: “We will continue to work with Cocoro and private label collections, but we are also looking to launch a Bandolera outerwear range”.

Bezemer said sales at Bandolera had grown by up to 25% a year for the past four years, and he expects sales of 65 million (£51.7m) this year, compared with 52m (£41.4m) the previous year. The GIMV deal is expected to be completed by the end of July.

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