LONDON — British high-street retailer Jigsaw is on the market and exploring the possibility of a minority or a majority stake sale.
“There have been a number of approaches directly to Jigsaw, around the purchase of a minority or majority stake. No sale process has been activated, but we continue to have conversations with interested parties,” a company spokesperson confirmed.
According to a Sky News report, KPMG has been appointed by the company’s controlling shareholder, John Robinson, to engage potential buyers.
The Jigsaw spokesperson highlighted an uptick in the company’s sales, which rose 8 percent in 2016, and 9.3 percent in the year ended Sept. 30.
The company has been working toward updating its image with a new upscale line, A by Jigsaw, presented during London Fashion Week for the first time last month. Last year, it also opened a luxury concept store at St. James’s Market, which houses its full men’s and women’s ranges.
That store also sells items from Jigsaw’s sister brand, The Shop at Bluebird, a luxury boutique known for its multibrand designer offer, with spaces on King’s Road, Duke Street in Mayfair, and in Guildford, England. The shop is set to open next in Covent Garden.
Jigsaw’s decision comes at a time when the U.K. high street is facing ongoing difficulties, given the radical changes in consumer behavior, the rise of online shopping and the impact of increasing inflation on spending power.
According to the latest Confederation of British Industry distributive trades survey for October, retail sales fell at their quickest rate since March 2009 — the height of the financial crisis.
“It’s clear retailers are beginning to really feel the pinch from higher inflation. While retail sales can be volatile from month to month, the steep drop in sales in October echoes other recent data pointing to a marked softening in consumer demand,” said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI’s chief economist.
The current climate has pushed other companies on the British high-street such as Jaeger, Austin Reed and BHS into administration, while Hobbs and Aurora Fashions, which owns Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, had been on the market in recent months, but are no longer for sale.