Monday 20 January 2020 2:15 pm

Reiss owner mulls selling high street retailer

The private equity owner of high street retailer Reiss is mulling putting the fashion chain up for sale following a period of strong performance.

Warburg Pincus has appointed investment bank Rothschild to launch a review of strategic options for the business, which could involve a sales process, Sky News reported.

If the US firm decides to sell the business, the process could be launched in the second quarter of this year, the broadcaster said. 

Reiss has performed strongly since Warburg Pincus bought a substantial stake in the firm in 2016, bucking the trend on the UK high street which has seen retailers struggle in challenging trading conditions. 

In its latest accounts Reiss reported that sales were up 8.3 per cent in the year ended 2 February 2019, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased 24 per cent to £18.1m.

The company – which has 69 standalone stores – said its expansion in store and online, focus on full price sales and investment in staff, operations, omni-channel infrastructure and customer experience had contributed to its growth. 

“Ress performed ahead of the market consistently through the period and sales and margin were in line with the expectations of management.” Reiss said in its strategic report. 

“In addition, the continued programme of investment has improved the stockholding of the business while capital expenditure on physical sites and investments in ecommerce have improved customer engagement, leading to improved performance.” 

Warburg Pincus declined to comment.