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Monserrat owners pledge to resurrect Brother 2 Brother

Premium independent Brother 2 Brother is to be resurrected by branded fashion retailer Monserrat.

Monserrat owners Kelvin Gill and brother Sam have bought the Brother 2 Brother name for £500 from administrators P&A Partnership after the high-profile Sheffield indie went into administration. The duo will rebrand their six Monserrat stores - including shops at Lakeside in Essex and Sheffield's Meadowhall - to Brother 2 Brother to create a new premium mini-chain in the New Year.

The Gills have persuaded Brother 2 Brother founders Andrew and Gavin Clark to take on consultative roles to advise them on the revival and to assist them in convincing suppliers that the Gills are committed to the upmarket revamp.

Kelvin Gill told Drapers he will court premium brands including Diesel, Vivienne Westwood and D&G to supply the new chain. He added: "Buying the name has allowed me to go into a more premium direction. I want to put my stamp on it. I will roll out the concept eventually, but the climate is tough at the moment."

However, one brand that sold through Brother 2 Brother in its previous incarnation said he was unsure whether he would be able to supply the new chain. The sales agent told Drapers: "We have distribution issues now that there are more locations and the stores are in different areas. Whether the new owners will do the Brother 2 Brother name justice, I'm not sure."

A source at a rival independent said: "It's good business sense - Brother 2 Brother has an international reputation. However, I could call myself Brad Pitt, but it doesn't mean I could back it up. If they don't have the same buying direction and product mix, it may not be the big deal they hope it will."

However, the Clark brothers are understood to be committed to the revival project and their reputation should stand Monserrat in good stead.

Brother 2 Brother is the third high-profile young fashion indie to be resurrected this week. Martin Roper has rescued his three-store Derby business Scenario from administration and set up a new company called Strand Retail to run the menswear, womenswear and footwear stores he founded. Roper was unavailable for comment and it is not known if he intends to rebrand the stores.

Meanwhile, Scottish mini-chain Gravity is understood to have received a cash injection from a mystery investor. Owner Gary Docherty has rejigged his store portfolio, closing stores in Glasgow and Braehead shopping centre and opening a new store in Glasgow's Bath Street. He was unavailable for comment.

INDIE CASUALTIES

March 07: Sheffield's Brother 2 Brother goes into administration after 18 years of trading. Its G-Star franchises continue to operate.

June 07: Limeys is bought out of receivership by Arev-backed fund Kcaj. Cruise managing director John Heath takes control of the business.

August 07: Diffusion, based in Wolverhampton, goes into administration, but is bought back by owner Carl Peddie.

Monserrat owners Sam and Kelvin Gill plot a comeback for the Brother 2 Brother name.

Three-store Derby business Scenario collapses, but is bought out of administration by owner Martin Roper.

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