08/05/12: GA Europe invests in MBO of Shoon footwear chain
GA Europe, the leading retail restructuring specialist, has today announced an investment in footwear chain Shoon, which went into administration on 6th February 2012. GA Europe is supporting a buy-out by Shoon’s management team and will provide funding for working capital and development, as well as taking a direct stake in the equity.
The business will continue to operate 11 stores in Bath, Brighton, Cheltenham, Epsom, Guildford, Kingston-upon-Thames, Reading, Salisbury, St Albans, Tunbridge Wells and Winchester. It also has a significant online business, which is operated from the head office and distribution facility in Wells, Somerset.
Shoon’s management team, led by Managing Director Stephen Sanders, will be joined by non-executive chairman Carolyn Simons, formerly Managing Director of Homestyle Group Plc and Commercial Director of Homebase.
Ian Robert, administrator of Shoon Ltd, from Kingston Smith & Partners LLP said: “This deal represents a very successful outcome for the administration and ensures the survival of a long established retail brand, as well as the preservation of over 150 jobs in both the stores and head office in Wells.”
Managing Director Stephen Sanders commented: “We are delighted to have a supportive investor in GA Europe and this will give us a firm financial platform from which to continue the process of stabilising and reviving the business. We would like to thank all our staff and loyal customers for their support during the difficult period when we have been in administration.”
Gavin George, European Managing Director of GA Europe added: “We are very excited to be making this investment in Shoon, which is a distinctive retail brand with significant potential for development. This deal further underlines our creative approach to investing in distressed retail situations, where we can successfully apply our specialist skills and experience.”
Shoon operates a chain of footwear stores, selling mainly women’s branded shoes. Shoon addresses the market between high street multiple chains and upmarket boutiques and designer labels, appealing to customers who are fashion aware with a clear sense of their own style whilst looking for comfort and fit at a reasonable price. Most of the stores also sell men’s footwear which appeal to a similar customer profile.
Shoon opened its first store in 2000 and expanded rapidly over the subsequent decade. However, its move into large stores in major shopping centres was ill-timed and led ultimately to the family-owned business entering administration earlier this year. Restructuring has allowed the business to refocus to locations more suited to its niche market.