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Exclusive: River Island founders snap up stake in Mint Velvet

Lewis Trust Group, the investment business set up by the founders of River Island, has bought a stake in womenswear retailer Mint Velvet for an undisclosed amount.

Mint Velvet autumn 15

The size of the stake has not been revealed, but it has been described as “significant”.

The investment will be used to support Mint Velvet’s growth strategy, which includes plans to open up to 20 stores over the next three years and grow its online business.

Mint Velvet was founded in 2009 by its chief executive Liz Houghton, brand director Lisa Agar-Rea, design director Jane Rawlings and chief operating officer Stuart Grant.

The founders and the rest of the management team will remain in their current roles. Peter Davies remains as chairman.

Houghton said: “Our growth has been phenomenal since we had the idea around my kitchen table six years ago and the significant stake taken by LTG will enhance our ability to expand in the UK and into new international markets.

“As retail experts, with the same supportive and passionate culture as Mint Velvet, LTG is the ideal partner to enable us to fulfil our growth ambitions for the Mint Velvet brand over the coming years.”

Mint Velvet has 28 stores in the UK, as well as 92 concessions in John Lewis, House of Fraser and Fenwick.

It opened its first international store in Dubai in September, followed by one in Switzerland in October. It has international concessions in Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland, although it declined to say how many in total.

It trades from five websites.

Sales grew 31% to £63.1m for the year to April 30 2015.

LTG is the investment business of the Lewis family, who founded and own River Island.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Is this the beginning of a new 'Arcadia-esque' empire?

    Good idea.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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