LONDON — Fred Perry Holdings, which is owned by the Japanese retailer Hit Union, has acquired British footwear brand George Cox.
A century-old family business, George Cox will be integrated into Fred Perry Holdings’ long-term investment strategy, sharing their “global niche distribution network and digital expertise” with Fred Perry and padded jacket maker Lavenham, also owned by Fred Perry Holdings.
Having produced several iconic styles over years and worn by punk rock royalty like Johnny Rotten and Steve Jones of the The Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer and David Bowie, George Cox represents a good crossover opportunity with fashion labels for Hit Union, especially in the Japanese market. In recent years, the brand has worked with Comme des Garçons, Bathing Ape, Yohji Yamamoto, Mastermind Japan, Beams Japan and Yang Li on footwear projects.
Adam Waterfield will continue to serve as managing director at George Cox, and Steve Gollings as head of operations.
It will continue with its Goodyear welt production in Northamptonshire, as well as exploring production capabilities in Portugal.
The deal provides a lifeline for the struggling George Cox. Its net turnover was 88.2 million pounds in the year ended March 2020, down 28 percent year-over-year, and net profit fell 33 percent to 44.8 million in the same period. Its FY 2021 numbers is expected to be worse, due to COVID-19 disruptions.