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Irisa’s Jacques Vert rebrand puts Luton office under threat

Mainstream womenswear business Irisa Group has been rebranded as Jacques Vert ahead of a potential relocation of its Luton office that has seen 200 staff put under consultation.

The move follows the merger of Irisa (formerly Alexon Group) and Jacques Vert by private equity owner Sun European Partners earlier this year.

Womenswear fascias Jacques Vert, Alexon, Kaliko, Minuet Petite, Dash, Eastex, Ann Harvey, Planet, Precis and Windsmoor will now all operate under the Jacques Vert group umbrella.

Alexon, Kaliko, Dash, Eastex, Ann Harvey and Minuet were previously part of Alexon, which was renamed Irisa last October. Planet, Precis, Windsmoor and Jacques Vert were already under the Jacques Vert banner. 

Earlier this month, the business proposed the relocation of Irisa’s Luton head office employees to London, consolidating the 200-strong team with the London-based Jacques Vert team by February 2013. It is yet to decide whether relocated staff will be housed in Jacques Vert’s existing head office site in Islington or if all staff will move to a new office.

According to Jacques Vert deputy chief executive Jane McNally, the company is in a period of consultation for 90 days and, as such, no decisions have been made.

McNally said: “We need to speak to all colleagues to see who would be adversely affected and if people would be willing to work in London. Nothing is decided; we’ve just put forward this proposal as it makes sense for the combined business to have its head office together.

“We want to ensure we retain as many of our team as possible. This is a delicate matter and not something we are undertaking lightly.”

Jacques Vert’s administrative and support functions are expected to be moved to Seaham in County Durham, where Jacques Vert has a small office.

Irisa’s rebrand and potential relocation are the latest stages in the merging of Alexon and Jacques Vert after their acquisition by Sun European Partners.

Last month, Drapers revealed the business had made John Boyle, who was chief financial officer at Irisa Group, and Pauline Brown, HR director at Jacques Vert, redundant as a result of the merger.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Angela Marshall

    I hope the group doesn't change the brand that the middle market women with classic bodyshapes miss out. Many of my clients are finding it harder to find classic clothes for work that suits the in between and curved bodyshape. Alexon had lost its way. They are gone more for the straighter body shape and a bit dated for the middle age market. The orginal styles they sold just needed some update. Keep to the middle market quality that is different and better than M & S. Women short and classic bodyshape who are in the 70+ age have no where else to get the quality - Eastex. The biggest complaint I have with women 50+ , classic, chic, romantic personalities and the shapes I mentioned is that they want to spend but cannot find what suits them.

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