The US subsidiary of Redcats Group has bought its way into the
bricks-and-mortar channel. But the reasons for the company’s move
into retail on the other side of the Atlantic suggest that it is
unlikely to launch stores here in the UK.
Redcats USA agreed in early September to buy United Retail Group, which operates 483 Avenue stores and an ecommerce site, for $198.9 million. Avenue, which had produced a print catalogue from 2000 to 2003, sells plus-size women’s fashion. Redcat USA’s catalogues include plus-size women’s fashion titles Roaman’s and Woman Within, home goods book BrylaneHome and women’s clothing titles La Redoute and Chadwick’s. In the UK, Redcats’ brands include La Redoute, Empire Stores and Vertbaudet.
Redcats USA’s acquisition of the Avenue retail chain enables it to better compete with another US specialist in plus-size fashion, Charming Shoppes. Charming Shoppes owns the Lane Bryant retail chain; until this autumn Redcats had owned the rights to use the Lane Bryant name for a print catalogue and website. The rights have since reverted to Charming Shoppes, making Lane Bryant a three-channel brand. Earlier this year Redcats USA renamed its Lane Bryant catalogue Woman Within.
“United Retail is complementary to Redcats USA in terms of target customer,” said Thierry Falque-Pierrotin, Redcats Group chairman/CEO, “and its national retail store base will be additive to our leading positions in the catalogue and ecommerce channels. The combination will create a multichannel market leader”.