The Sloane Group sells Interface to Retec after parent's pressure

Wellingborough-based shopfitter The Sloane Group has sold its interactive kiosk arm, Interface, to digital display specialist Retec for an undisclosed sum. The new business will be called Retec Interface.

The deal comes following an edict from Sloane Group's Chicago parent, manufacturing and services conglomerate The Marmon Group, by which 80 per cent of Sloane's profits should derive from 20 per cent of its client base.

This has seen the group focussing on its core shelving, fit-out and retail display manu-facturing capabilities, with Interface looking increasingly peripheral to this remit.

Interface, which has supplied kiosks to Boots and Sainsbury's, will strengthen Retec's client portfolio that includes L'Oreal, Safeway and Tesco. Retec has worked jointly with Interface on the Tesco account. The company helped the chain create in-store entertainment scanners allowing shoppers to view DVD film trailers.

The sale represents a significant consolidation of the digital retail arena and should enable the enlarged company to seize a greater share of the market - one that is predicted to grow 56 per cent over the next three years, according to a report by Point of Purchase Advertising International and the Printing Industry Research Association.

Retec Interface chief executive John Cole said: 'This is a wonderful deal for us. It's not just about the money, it's a great fit. We're aiming to be the dominant player working with first-division retailers.'

The Sloane Group was acquired by The Marmon Group in 2001.

Former Interface managing director Nick Hughes now heads The Sloane Group's European operations.