Plus size women’s retail outfit sells up

The management of the UK’s largest independent plus size women’s fashion retailer has sold up in a deal valued at up to £10m.

Langholm Capital has acquired Elvi, which has 25 outlets in Britain and Ireland as well as 57 department store concessions.

The buy-in management buy-out was led by Oliver Spark, the former managing director of luxury homeware business The White Company and represents Langholm’s fifth investment from its current fund.

In the year to July 2006, Elvi, which has grown at a consistent rate since its management team bought it out from Country Casuals in 1997, recorded sales of £20m under the stewardship of managing director Russ Hamer.

Spark, who has been named chief executive, said there is considerable further growth to exploit.

“I am excited by the potential of Elvi as a business that is operating in a sector experiencing strong growth.”

He added that he would look to develop the company’s multi-channel offering and raise the profile of the brand, while continuing to roll-out stores and concessions.

The plus size 16 clothes market is a burgeoning one, according to research outfit Mintel, which has estimated it to be worth £4.5bn.

And with news this week that Britons are the fattest in Europe, with 60% of women unhealthily heavy, the average dress size is on the rise.

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© Crimson Business Ltd. 2006


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