Next set to buy rival brand Fat Face in latest High Street buyon October 11, 2023 at 1:56 pm

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High Street chain Next is understood to be close to buying rival fashion chain Fat Face.

A shopper holds a Fat Face bag at Rushden Lakes outletImage source, Getty Images

High Street giant Next is understood to be close to securing a deal to buy rival fashion chain Fat Face.

If the purchase went ahead, it would mean Next – which has 500 High Street shops – owning Fat Face’s 200 stores.

The acquisition could be agreed this week, according to Sky News which first reported the two were close to a deal.

It would mark the latest in a run of High Street buys for Next which has snapped up several chains including fashion chain Joules.

Last year, Next bought furniture brand Made.com, and a minority stake in baby goods store chain JoJo Maman BéBé and more recently it increased its stake in fashion chain Reiss from 51% to 72%.

Next has been using the purchases to beef up its so-called “Total Platform”, a suite of online services for third party brands.

This year it bought the floral fashion brand Cath Kidston – but not its stores.

Fat Face was taken over by a consortium of lenders in 2020 when shops were struggling during the Covid pandemic.

But in its latest annual results the retailer said sales were up 15% and profits had jumped.

Last year it was reported that Fat Face had hired investment bank Rothschild to find a buyer for the business.

Next, FatFace and Rothschild declined to comment on the deal.

UK high streets have been under pressure as shoppers spend less during the cost-of-living crisis.

Inflation – the rate at which prices rise – has started to ease after surging in 2022, but it remains high and retail sales are yet to bounce back.

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