Gordon Brothers, the global advisory, restructuring, and investment firm, announced today that it has acquired the Bench brand and all its related intellectual property assets. Launched in Manchester, U.K. in 1989, Bench is one of the first streetwear fashion retailers and until very recently its products could be found in over 20 countries in Europe and North America.
In focusing on lifestyle products associated with the skate and BMX culture of the late 1980’s / early 1990’s, Bench was far ahead of its time in tapping into this unique lifestyle. Over the years, Bench has expanded its product offering to include high quality men’s, women’s and kid’s streetwear products offered at accessible price points. As recently as 2017, the brand had over 80 Bench branded stores in Europe and North America and an additional 2,000+ wholesale points of sale, making it one of the only true global streetwear brands of scale.
“Streetwear has never been hotter than it is today,” said Ramez Toubassy, president of Gordon Brothers’ brands division. “We are excited to be able to acquire an authentic pioneer in the category and bring our thoroughly modern branding, marketing and business model to bear in reestablishing Bench as a streetwear powerhouse.”
In the short-term Gordon Brothers will focus on reestablishing the brand’s European e-commerce presence while it re-builds the business’ wholesale footprint in that territory. In North America, Gordon Brothers will continue the brand’s long-standing partnership with Freemark Apparel Brands Group, who have successfully built Bench into a multi-channel business, through distribution in Bench retail stores, wholesale and e-commerce.
This acquisition follows Gordon Brothers’ highly successful relaunch of the Wet Seal fast fashion retailer as a digitally native e-commerce business. Gordon Brothers’ brands division acquires, restructures and revives some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Past investments include Polaroid, Wet Seal, and Bombay & Co. The team is known throughout the industry for its expertise in buying, selling, managing and transforming underperforming consumer brands into healthy, thriving businesses.