OFFICE is the UK’s leading young fashion footwear retailer, offering a product range that is mid-priced and affordable.
It sells men’s, women’s and sports footwear and has a broad range of both third party brands such as Converse, UGG, Adidas, Nike, Vans and Supra, which it sells alongside its own brands - OFFICE and Poste.
OFFICE has built a loyal following of style-conscious customers, having consistently identified key trends and anticipated the demands of its target market of 15 to 35 year-olds.
It first opened in 1981 and at the date of our investment had grown to 75 stand-alone stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and 46 concessions in retailers House of Fraser, Topshop and Selfridges. It also has a high-growth digital business.
The company had already established an excellent market position when we acquired it in December 2010. Its range of third party and own brands gave it a defensible offering and good margins.
We continued the store rollout programme and launched an enhanced online shop, in-store tablets and click and collect services.
Under our ownership, OFFICE significantly enhanced its e-commerce offering, expanded its retail outlets from 75 to 115 stand-alone stores, six of which were in Germany. This created more than 1,200 new jobs.
For the year ended January 2015, OFFICE had sales of £270m, 20% of which were online. The company’s position as the leading young, fashion footwear retailer with a proven multi-channel offering attracted several strategic trade purchasers. Ultimately, South African listed retailer Truworths International tabled a very attractive bid of £256m.
The sale to Truworths generated a 34% IRR and a 3.4x multiple of our original investment.
standalone stores at exit
new jobs created