The takeover of Missguided is a little off-course for Frasers Group; with its mostly online presence it is a far cry from previous acquisitions like Hugo Boss and House of Fraser (HoF) and Flannels, as well as its own Sports Direct brand which all have a strong retail presence.
What is even more interesting is that Missguided has built its reputation as a fast-fashion player; buy it cheap, change it often. Again we are sort of left wondering how Missguided fits into Frasers Group’s ambition to become “the Harrods of the High Street”, which it boldly declared not so long ago.
But analysts are convinced it is a good move and Frasers Group will be able to use its operational scale to strengthen the Missguided brand and make it more competitive.
One thing we can say with confidence is Frasers Group does appear to be getting its ducks in a row. It is happily offloading brands that don’t fit into its wider vision, like the recent disposals of US brands Bobs Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports and is investing further in brands that are a better fit – recently taking a larger stake in Hugo Boss and acquiring Studio Retail Group which collapsed into administration.
What will be worth watching is how Frasers seeks to grow the Missguided brand. The general consensus is that Missguided’s collapse came from its inability to compete with its peers, Asos and Boohoo. Could a more successful path be charted in standalone stores? Or will we see Missguided concessions appear within existing HoF stores?
It’s already had a pretty successful run with concession stores in Asda and we do believe a continuation of this strategy will help its growth as the post-pandemic consumer looks to rebalance their online and in-store shopping options. In any case, watch this space.
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