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Select sizes up Bay Trading business

Young fashion retailer Select was preparing to run a slide rule over Alexon Group’s Bay Trading chain, which went into administration on Monday, as Drapers went to press.

Select chief executive David Pidgeon told Drapers that of Bay Trading’s 175 standalone stores, just 24 overlapped with the existing Select portfolio, equivalent to 20% of the Select chain, meaning there was plenty of potential for the two businesses to combine. Pidgeon said: “We are looking to expand our portfolio and by virtue of the fact there are only 24 crossovers, it would give us the opportunity to grow quite fast.”

Select would also be able to strip out significant costs across Bay Trading’s head office. Administrator Deloitte was preparing a sale pack as Drapers went to press.

Pidgeon added that Select would wait to see the full information pack before making a decision on whether to proceed with a bid.
Select is understood to have approached Alexon about acquiring the Bay Trading chain several months ago, but Alexon is said to have rebuffed the approach because it was in the process of repositioning the business.

However, last week at its full-year results Alexon disclosed that Bay Trading had racked up losses of £7.2 million for the 53 weeks ended January 31. At the time it said it may have to restructure the business if sales did not improve. Following the statement to the stock market, credit insurers withdrew cover to the business, forcing it into administration just five days later.

Gordon Brothers, the restructuring specialist, is also thought to be interested in buying the Bay Trading business.

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