Are new Asda owners considering George sale?
The new owners of Asda could be mulling the sale of its pioneering fashion arm, the £3 billion George clothing brand, according to reports.
Industry sources told The Mail on Sunday that a possible sale is one of a number of strategies for the supermarkets giant.
Petrol station retail tycoons Zuber and Mohsin Issa linked with private equity firm TDR to buy control of the company from Walmart this month, although £6.7 billion deal hasn’t yet completed.
But while sources think a sale could be on the agenda, the newspaper also said that other sources close to the brothers said splitting off clothing was “not being contemplated”. However, observers do see a sale of George as a way raise money to reduce any debt taken on to buy the Asda business.
George was a leader in supermarket clothing lines in its early days and showed other supermarkets how strong the mix of fashion and groceries could be.
Those other supermarkets have since ramped up their fashion offer with Sainsbury’s selling Tu Clothing, Tesco selling F&F and Morrisons its Nutmeg line.
George remains an important label in Britain due to its presence in Asda stores, although fashion wasn’t a priority for shoppers during lockdown, even though Asda shops remained open. Rival supermarkets have said their fashion operations have suffered this year because of the pandemic.
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