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Retail supremo to enter outsize etail

Mike Clare, the entrepreneur who netted £200m from the sale of beds business Dreams, is in the advance stages of launching an outsize clothing etailer.

The decision followed an attempt by Clare to buy outsize men’s retailer High & Mighty, which underwent a pre-pack administration last week and was sold to home shopping group N Brown.

Clare, who sold Dreams – the business he founded – to private equity firm Exponent in March 2008, said the site would stock “classic, mainstream, well-fitted clothes” for “larger sizes”.

The menswear and womenswear etailer is set to launch by the end of the year or in early 2010. Clare does not plan to open bricks-and-mortar stores. The name of the etailer is yet to be decided but Clare said: “We’re toying with the ideas of names like Chubby Clothes and Chunky Hunks.”

Clare said he recognised a gap in the market for outsize clothing while considering buying High & Mighty. “It is a growing market. It’s huge in America, and there aren’t many people doing it. It’s not a very sexy area of the market but I wouldn’t go into anything if it wasn’t scalable.” 

Clare is hiring a team to head the etailer, which is based in Stokenchurch near High Wycombe.

Meanwhile, N Brown said that its acquisition of High & Mighty would allow the group to experiment with bricks-and-mortar retailing. The group acquired certain High & Mighty assets in the pre-pack administration deal, including a six-month licence to operate 14 stores.

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