- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Gordon Brothers, the global advisory, restructuring, and investment firm, has acquired the Bench brand and all of its related intellectual property assets, following the brand falling into administration in April.
Bench, was founded in Manchester in 1989 and was hailed as one of the first streetwear fashion retailers holding a central position on the UK high street for nearly 30 years, as well as in more than 20 countries in Europe and North America. As recently as 2017, the brand had over 80 Bench branded stores in Europe and North America and an additional 2,000 wholesale points of sale, making it one of the only true global streetwear brands of scale.
In 2011, the brand generated approximately 150 million pounds in revenue, but since then it has struggled to maintain its market position, and in April, the brand filed for administrator after failing to generate enough "liquidity" to continue.
In a press statement, Gordon Brothers said that in the short-term it will focus on “reestablishing the brand's European e-commerce presence while it methodically re-builds the business' wholesale footprint in that territory”.
While in North America, Gordon Brothers will continue the brand's long-standing partnership with Freemark Apparel Brands Group, who have successfully built Bench into a multi-channel business, through distribution in Bench retail stores, wholesale and e-commerce.
"Streetwear has never been hotter than it is today," said Ramez Toubassy, president of Gordon Brothers' brands division in a press release. "We are excited to be able to acquire an authentic pioneer in the category and bring our thoroughly modern branding, marketing and business model to bear in reestablishing Bench as a streetwear powerhouse.”
This acquisition follows Gordon Brothers’ successful relaunch of the Wet Seal fast fashion retailer as a digitally native e-commerce business, as well as past investments in Polaroid and Bombay and Co.