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N Brown closes Gray & Osbourn to focus on core brands

N Brown has announced it will discontinue catalogue and online business Gray & Osbourn from June this year, following a strategic review.

Established by Kate Gray and Sandie Osbourn in 1989, the business was acquired by N Brown Group in 2006. It stocks brands including Betty Barclay, Gerry Weber, Gina Bacconi, Joseph Ribkoff, NYDJ and Van Dal.

A spokesman for N Brown told Drapers: “Given the limited long term strategic fit and ongoing market conditions it has been decided to discontinue trading with Gray & Osbourn in June this year allowing us to sell through summer and high summer stock.

“The move will allow the group to focus on its core business, which includes Jacamo, JD Williams, Simply Be, Figleaves and House of Bath.”

N Brown started a consultation yesterday with Gray & Osbourn’s 21 employees based in London, and will explore opportunities to deploy them elsewhere within the group.

“We emphasise that this isn’t a decision we haven’t taken lightly and will do everything we can to support impacted colleagues at this time,” the spokesman said. “We are looking at a number of options in terms of what we do with the brand name and the customer file.”

Customers will be able to buy product up until June.

Kate Gray retired from the business in 2010 and Sandie Osbourn retired last year. Both departures were unrelated to the decision to close the business, as were its Christmas trading results, said the spokesman.

Fiona Holmes, who is currently managing director of Figleaves and Gray & Osbourn, will continue in her role at Figleaves.

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