Budget retailer TOFS' owner hunts for buyer
The Original Factory Shop (TOFS), one of the UK’s biggest independent value retailers, is up for sale. Owner Duke Street has called in Deloitte for a sale of the 15-year-old business.
That’s according to Sky News, which cited sources saying a number of trade and financial investors had expressed an interest in the company, although the valuation has yet to be revealed.
TOFS trades from around180 stores across the UK, selling a wide variety of goods plus fashion brands including Adidas, Calvin Klein, Under Armour and Jimmy Choo, as well as beauty brands including L’Oréal, selling at substantial discounts to high street prices. Reports says the business is in acquisition mode targeting up to 30 outlets from operated by troubled retail rivals.
However, in 2018, the company closed around 30 of its own stores through a company voluntary arrangement restructuring, allowing the business to reduce rent to place TOFS on a more sustainable financial footing.
The business currently employs more than 1,500 staff, recording operating earnings of around £7 million.
It last changed hands in 2007, when Duke Street bought the company for £68.5 million from the private equity arm of Barclays.
Analysts have said TOFS is likely to be attractive to buyers in the current cost-of-living crisis with consumers graduating more to value retail. Duke Street has so far declined to comment.
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