The Doneger Group has acquired Gregor Simmons Ltd., a fashion merchandising consulting firm focused on serving independent specialty stores in the designer, better and contemporary markets.
Through the acquisition, “We are adding talent and great retail clients, and enhancing and growing our contemporary, better and designer businesses,” said Abbey Doneger, president of The Doneger Group. “We definitely see a resurgence of small, entrepreneurial businesses.”
Though business is challenging for retailers generally, Doneger said there’s “great opportunity” for independent retailers to play up what many are already known for — personalization, customization, high levels of consumer engagement and service.
Gregor Simmons will relocate to the Doneger office at 463 Seventh Avenue. Financial details of the acquisition were not provided.
Simmons, Doneger said, has a “high-touch” approach working with retail clients to formulate merchandising strategies suited to their stores and customers, and also to discover fashion trends, key brands and designers. He added that Simmons “will assess individual client needs, develop customized business strategies and offer personalized merchandising services.”
“This acquisition kind of brings us full circle by adding to an area of our business that was the foundation for the company,” Doneger said. “When the company was started, we were only working with independent specialty stores.” Now it also serves a global array of national specialty store chains, department stores, off-price chains, mass merchants and e-tailers, as well as independent retailers. In addition to New York, the company operates the Doneger-owned Directives West office in the California Market Center in Los Angeles, as its West Coast merchandising arm.
The Doneger Group dates back to 1946 when the late Henry Doneger and his partner Jack Lasersohn formed a resident buying office named Lasersohn-Doneger. In 1964, Doneger bought out Lasersohn and formed Henry Doneger Associates.
While growing its client base, the company has evolved from a traditional buying office, a format that’s virtually extinct now, into developing creative merchandise and business strategies for retail, fashion and related industries, advising clients on big-picture consumer shifts, color and trends, sourcing, fashion direction and merchandising concepts across all classifications and price ranges for women’s, men’s and children’s apparel, accessories and footwear. Specialized divisions include Tobe, Doneger Creative Services, Directives West and Price Point Buying.
The deal with Gregor Simmons, who was in business for about two and half decades, perpetuates Doneger’s spree of acquisitions of buying offices, which mostly occurred in the Eighties and Nineties, eliminating competitors and enabling Doneger to acquire talent and competencies. Before Simmons, the last acquisition was Huepoint, a provider of color trends and color marketing strategies, in 2014. In 2010, the company was sold to its employees through an employee stock ownership plan.