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Sun European to merge Jacques Vert and Irisa back office functions

Jacques Vert’s new owner Sun European Partners is to merge its back office with that of fellow new acquisition, the Irisa Group, formerly known as Alexon. 

The two mature womenswear retailers will share back end systems including merchandising and IT.

Sun European Partners managing director Paul Daccus said: “Jacques Vert had already invested in its systems and processes while Irisa needs a lot of investment. It makes sense to merge the two.”

Daccus said the Jacques Vert acquisition, made just before Christmas, was stimulated by its buy of Alexon in September, which it renamed Irisa, which targets a similar mature customer.

Jacques Vert, which controls the brands Planet, Precis, Windsmoor, as well as the eponymous retailer, was snapped up in a deal which valued it at £41.2m.

The private equity group also bought sports specialist American Golf pre-Christmas for an undisclosed amount. It decided to invest in both retailers, which serve an older audience, as their customers are less impacted by the general economic malaise.

Along with streamlining processes across Jacques Vert, which operates from 900 outlets mainly concessions, Daccus plans to grow the online and mail order channels of both groups, in particular for its plus-size brands. 

The private equity house also expects to make margin gains across both fashion groups through moving some production to its Far East sourcing operation.

Jane McNally chief executive of Irisa Group added: “Strategically the acquisition of Jacques Vert gives Sun an even stronger presence in the maturing market sector. I think Sun will look at synergies between the two businesses and it makes a lot of sense for them to do that but it is far too early to tell what this will mean.”

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