by Stephen Garner

Randa Accessories has entered into an agreement to sell the external part of MCG: Market Connect Group, its third-party in-store service division, to Winston Retail. The transaction is expected to close on or around January 31, 2020. MCG’s internal division will continue to provide in-store brand and product service for Randa and its affiliates. 

Twenty years ago, Randa acquired MCG: Market Connect Group, to provide in-store services for Randa’s neckwear and leather goods businesses. This small team effectively provided in-store merchandising, visual display and replenishment services to a small number of department store “doors.” Over time MCG grew to become one of America’s largest in-store service providers at general merchandise retailers, particularly department stores.

At the same time, Randa grew both organically and via acquisitions. Today, Randa is the world’s largest men’s accessories company and a global leader in accessories for men, women, and children under brands including Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Columbia Sportswear and Dickies. Earlier this year Randa acquired the Haggar Clothing Co., creating a one-billion-dollar apparel and accessories powerhouse. 

With its new scale and scope, Randa is focusing its strategies and resources on building and supporting its rapidly growing global core brand and product portfolio. Therefore, on January 1st Randa entered into an agreement to sell the third-party (non-Randa and Haggar) merchandising and demonstrations business of MCG to Winston Retail.  The acquisition is believed to position Winston as the largest retail merchandising agency in North America.

“We are very pleased to sell our third-party in-store service business to Winston Retail,” explained David J. Katz, executive vice president and CMO at Randa. “The sale of MCG is a three-tiered win. First, it allows Randa and MCG to focus our internal service team and resources to provide Randa and Haggar with dedicated, best-in-class in-store merchandising, market research, and value-added services—all in furtherance of making their brands and products look great and sell quickly. Next, it provides MCG’s external clients with an extraordinary new partner to work with them on the creation of powerful visual merchandising and brand building at point-of-sale. And finally, with Winston’s acquisition of MCG’s external field team, it provides thousands of employees with growing retail job opportunities.”

“The acquisition of MCG will add significantly to Winston’s reputation as the leader in in-store merchandising for image brands,” added Jan Croatt, founder and CEO of Winston Retail. “This new chapter for Winston will allow us to expand our reach and customer service for our current and new clients.  Our goal is to offer exceptional services within the marketplace that exceed our competitor set. Our main focus will continue to be visual merchandising, store design, sales staffing and pop-up consumer experiences for brands and retailers, as well as expanding our technological capabilities.” 

Photos courtesy of Randa of one of Winston’s clients