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Long Tall Sally buys US rival as sales rise

Niche womenswear business Long Tall Sally has acquired its US competitor, Long Elegant Legs, in a bid to drive international expansion, after reporting a 17% increase in like-for-like sales for the five weeks to January 2.

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The retailer, which has ten stores in the UK, bought the New Jersey-based specialist for an undisclosed sum.

Long Tall Sally said the merger will significantly accelerate expansion in the US, but did not say how many stores were planned.

The company increased its predicted annual sales for the full year to January 31 2015, from £30m to £36m. It estimates this will grow to sales of £48m and profits of £5m in 2016.

International sales are expected to have grown 11% during 2015. Long Tall Sally has 16 stores in the US, Canada and Germany and ships to 160 countries.

The UK remains Long Tall Sally’s biggest market, accounting for 35% of total global sales, up 13% on a like-for-like basis in 2015.

Chief executive Andrew Shapin, said: “We have been following Long Elegant Legs for years and the acquisition cements our position as the largest tall specialist in the world.”

Maurice Helfgott, chairman of Amery Capital, which owns Long Tall Sally, added: “Our investment in Long Tall Sally continues to pay dividends as the company enjoys rapid growth in Europe and North America, augmented by key acquisitions that have been quickly integrated into the brand and its international operations.”

In December Drapers reported Long Tall Sally was working with advisers at Financo on the possible sale of a stake in the business. A spokesperson said the process was ongoing.

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