Where do we start? When we saw the headline on the media hot wires this afternoon (Monday 21 December) - 'Australia Chic Brand Buys Evans from Arcadia' - there were just too many questions slapping against the side of our heads.
'Australian chic'? Really? Isn't this a little like hearing the phrase, 'Cornish Metropolis', or 'Newcastle style'? When we typed it onto our screens, predictive text tried several times to change 'chic' to what it considered to be more appropriate words, finally accepting 'chick', from which we will delete the k without it realising just before we push 'publish' and see if we can get away with it.
Then there is 'Evans'. What? Who? Apparently, there are five Arcadian Evans' stores operating round the UK (none in Belgravia or Salcombe) dealing in plus-size clothing for women, about which we are not permitted to comment, due to the contrails of our injunction extending up until the Christmas period. Evans also sells lingerie and accessories, and ... no, we absolutely mustn't. They mainly operate as concessions within department stores ... and there's a real future in that market.
Deloitte are good. They have sold the Evans' name for £23 million (which, in itself, is XXXXL), together with the intellectual property, its customer base and inventory under the terms of the deal, but not the stores. This is mainly because those shrewd Aussies have recognised that none of them are in Australia and Zealand.
The purchasers are 'City Chic Collective' who do not operate in the UK (because we have more brutal trading standards and tougher laws on misrepresentation), but describes itself as a global omni-channel retailer specialising in plus-size women’s apparel, footwear and accessories, with 96 stores across Australia and New Zealand.
It may be more of a deal than we at first thought, as in the financial year to August 2020, Deloitte tell us that the Evans website had 19 million visits and generated approximately £23 million of sales. That sounds good. Does it sound like value for £23 million. It's certainly a plus-size deal.