Crew Clothing’s chief executive and finance boss have quit the fashion firm following its sale to US-based clothing manufacturer Exquisite Apparel, Retail Week can reveal.
The fashion retailer’s founder and major shareholder Alistair Parker-Swift has sold his stake in the UK-based firm, while private-equity firm Livingbridge, which has owned 25% of the chain since 2006, has also offloaded its shareholding.
The move has prompted Crew Clothing boss Louise Barnes and chief finance officer Stuart Owens to part ways with the retailer, Retail Week understands.
Barnes – formerly Joules chairman and Fat Face chief executive – took the reins at Crew Clothing in 2014, and Owens joined last year.
New owner Exquisite Apparel – fronted by chief executive Michael Shina – currently produces branded clothing, such as Tommy Hilfiger, under licence for retail titan Walmart.
The deal for Crew Clothing and its 80 stores, first reported by Retail Week, was finalised today.
Retail Week understands that David Butler, who previously worked at BHS, Echo and MAF fashion, has been drafted in by Exquisite Apparel to advise on the UK market.
Parker-Swift will also continue to work with Crew under its new ownership, supporting them in the company’s next phase of growth.
Commenting on the sale, Livingbridge investment director Bevan Duncan said: “We have really enjoyed working with Crew and look forward to seeing the next stage in its growth story.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Louise Barnes and her team for their dedication to Crew and the work she has led in reinvigorating and strengthening the brand.”