Foschini acquires British fashion brand

JOHANNESBURG. — JSE-listed clothing company, the Foschini Group, has acquired, through its UK subsidiary, Phase-Eight, the entire share capital of Whistles, a British contemporary fashion brand. Whistles currently has 46 standalone stores located across the UK and is stocked in selected departmental stores across the world, including Bloomingdales in the US and Harrods in the UK. It also sells its merchandise online.

“The addition of Whistles to Foschini Group’s’s existing portfolio of brands will further position the Foschini Group as a leading fashion retailer not only in South Africa, but internationally, and will enhance its online presence,” said Foschini Group CEO Doug Murray.

“Whistles is a brand that we have long admired, for which we believe there is a significant opportunity for growth. We look forward to working with the team to further develop the brand,” he said.

South African fashion retailers have been in search of assets abroad, given the weak rand and a South African consumer who is under pressure. Woolworths bought Australian department store David Jones two years ago and Truworths acquired an 89 percent stake in footwear seller Office Retail Group last year.

Whistles was a strong fit for Foschini, according to Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson.

“We very much look forward to working with the TFG team to continue to build on the success of Whistles and take it to the next stage of its evolution,” she said. — BDLIVE.

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