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JD’s Tessuti deal spells the end for Cecil Gee

Menswear retailer Cecil Gee’s five branches are to be converted into Tessuti stores – signalling the disappearance of the Cecil Gee name from the high street after 83 years. 

JD Sports Fashion last month acquired a 50% share in menswear indie Tessuti, which will see JD’s Cecil Gee stores take on the Tessuti name and more premium brand mix, although there is no timescale for the store conversions.

Added to Tessuti’s existing five stores – in Chester, two in Manchester and one in Sheffield’s Meadowhall – the portfolio will comprise 10 stores, jointly owned by JD Sports Fashion and Tessuti.

Tessuti, which stocks brands such as Edwin, Hugo Boss and Stone Island, will manage the portfolio for JD Sports Fashion, with Tessuti buyer Mike Ashcroft instructed to take the brand mix more upmarket.

Tessuti managing director Dave Light said: “We’ll be upgrading the brand mix [in Cecil Gee] to the Tessuti portfolio and taking out the mid-market brands.”

There are plans to open another Tessuti store in a “major city”, although Light would not disclose further details.

JD Sports Fashion was thought to be in discussions with brand agency Fourmarketing last November to rebrand Cecil Gee under Fourmarketing’s Oki-ni, which operates a website and one store.

Tessuti is the latest retailer to join JD Sports Fashion’s growing portfolio: it bought indie mini-chain Originals Clothing out of administration in March.

For the 19 weeks to June 9, JD Sports Fashion’s like-for-like sales rose 1.5%.

It could not be reached for comment.

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