TORONTO, Oct. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Long Tall Sally ("LTS"), a leading British fashion retailer, today announced it will be taking forward the business of The Tall Girl Shop Ltd. ("Tall Girl") in Canada, having acquired select assets.
"LTS has been exclusively focused on creating a 'tall heaven' for beautiful tall women across the world for over 25 years", said Andrew Shapin, CEO, Long Tall Sally. "We are delighted to be able to expand our business by teaming up with the largest and most established tall women's clothing business in North America to best serve this target group."
LTS brings to the chain a wealth of fashion industry experience and strong, proven leadership. Established in 1975, LTS was acquired by UK fashion industry veterans Michael and Maurice Bennett and Maurice Helfgott five years ago.
"Tall Girl was founded and built over 50 years by Hazel Gould and our companies have long shared a passion for serving the needs of tall women," added Shapin. "This acquisition provides Long Tall Sally with the opportunity to extend our mission of being the first choice in fashion for tall women worldwide."
"I'm so happy that our customers have a future with Long Tall Sally, commented Hazel Gould. "We have long admired what they do and know our customers will be delighted by what the Company will have to offer them."
LTS has experienced strong growth in spite of the weak economy with a 35% increase in combined catalogue and online revenues this year and a 20% increase in total sales year to date. Total sales are expected to hit (pnds stlg)14 million for the year ending January 31, 2010, up from (pnds stlg)11.4 million last year.
About Long Tall Sally
Long Tall Sally is a multi-channel retailer of fashion for taller women. The Company was founded in 1975 by six-foot tall American entrepreneur Judy Rich who opened the first store on Chiltern Street in the west end of London in 1976. The Company's mission is to be the first choice in fashion for tall women in the UK and worldwide.
In addition to operating 21 retail locations in and around the UK, Long Tall Sally also has strong online and catalogue sales. The Company reported revenues of (pnds stlg)11.4 million in fiscal 2008, with 40% of sales coming from store purchases and 60%from online and catalogue combined. All clothing is designed in-house, carefully proportioned to flatter taller women. The Company also features an accompanying collection of accessories includes hats, antique-inspired costume jewellery, stylish boots and shoes.
Amery Capital Ltd. purchased Long Tall Sally in 2005.
About Amery Capital
Amery Capital was founded by Maurice Helfgott in November 2004 with a focus on principal investment and advisory activities in retail and consumer related businesses. Amery Capital's three principal ventures to date have been backed by renowned fashion industry entrepreneurs Michael and Maurice Bennett. Amery Capital owns and operates brands including Long Tall Sally (www.longtallsally.com), Retail Profile Europe (www.retailprofile.com) and Oliver Sweeney (oliversweeney.com). Amery also has a minority share in KOOKAI UK Limited (www.kookai.co.uk).
Maurice serves as Non-Executive Director of Long Tall Sally and is the Chairman of Retail Profile Europe and Oliver Sweeney. He held a 16-year tenure with Marks & Spencer where he served as Executive Director. He holds an MBA with High Distinction from Harvard Business School.
Michael and Maurice Bennett:
After successfully building and selling Bennet Cameras to Dixons in the 1960s, Maurice and Michael Bennett founded Warehouse, Britain's first successful fashion retailer. In 1986, Warehouse was sold to Freeman's and, in 1991, they created and developed Oasis Stores. Oasis became hugely successful and was eventually publicly listed. Other acquisitions included Coast, a brand developed from (pnds stlg)2M turnover when it was bought to (pnds stlg)100M today and Phase Eight which was built and sold to Barclays Capital in 2005 producing a seven times return on investment. In 2006, Maurice and Michael were awarded the prestigious Lifetime achievement award, and in 2008, Maurice was awarded the C.B.E. by HM The Queen for services to retailing.
Note to media: Earlier this month, Canadian-owned Tall Girl notified federal authorities that it was insolvent and planned to restructure. LTS will continue operating the retail chain in Canada, maintaining most of the Company's retail locations and preserving the jobs of 100 Canadian staff.
SOURCE LTS - LONG TALL SALLY
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