Flying Tiger Copenhagen’s UK founders Philip and Emma Bier have sold their 50% stake in the Danish variety retailer for an undisclosed sum, 11 years after the couple opened its first UK store.

The Biers, who launched Flying Tiger Copenhagen (then Tiger) in Basingstoke in 2005, have sold their stake in Tiger Retail Limited to the brand’s Copenhagen-based parent company, Zebra.

The couple operated 44 Flying Tiger Copenhagen stores in the retailer’s biggest region, London and the south-east, in partnership with Zebra.

Philip Bier acted as managing director while Emma Bier was head of design and marketing.

They will now step down from their roles and Richard Boyd, Tiger’s partner in northern England, will replace Philip Bier as managing director.

Philip Bier told Retail Week that he made the decision to depart from the retailer a year ago.

“I went into Tiger with a ten-year plan and now, over 11 years later, I’ve achieved more than I ever dreamed I would”

Philip Bier

“We had a strong handover period where we worked together to ensure it was a smooth transition,” he said. 

“I went into Tiger with a ten-year plan and now, over 11 years later, I’ve achieved more than I ever dreamed I would.

”There’s plenty of room for further expansion, particularly in London and in underground stations, but now is the right time for me to move onto something new, and for Zebra to facilitate the further growth of the business,” he said.

Bier added that he was now “exercising his options” and, after taking some time off, would be interested in entering the start-up space or supporting retailers on policy issues.

“I’ve got lots of ideas, but no plans as of yet,” he said.

The retailer was rebranded from Tiger to Flying Tiger Copenhagen last year, and opened its first-ever concession in Selfridges, Birmingham.

It has around 90 stores in the UK and reported a 69% sales increase to £62m in its last financial year, driven by a rise in ”middle-class bargain hunters”.

Ranking as one of Retail Week’s fastest-growing retailers last year, Flying Tiger Copenhagen currently has more than 600 shops across 28 countries.

However, it unveiled plans to more than triple its international store estate by 2020, to 1,500 branches worldwide.