Retail Ecommerce Ventures, a startup that aims to reconstitute distressed brick-and-mortar retailers into pure-play e-commerce entities, has now acquired luxury brand Ralph & Russo. The British brand joins the likes of Stein Mart, Modell's, Pier 1, Dressbarn and RadioShack in REV's roster.
U.S. advisory firm Hilco, in a previous notice to prospective buyers, said the haute couture company was in administration, the U.K. term for bankruptcy.
Terms of the deal, which the firm says has been completed, were not disclosed, according to a company press release Thursday.
Brand management companies, be they newcomers like REV or veterans like Authentic Brands Group, often amass oddly diversified portfolios.
ABG, for example, boasts of ownership in upscale favorite Barneys New York and fast-fashion giant Forever 21. Now, REV has Ralph & Russo, famous for producing Meghan Markle's $78,000 engagement party gown, alongside Dressbarn. All of these retailers ended up where they are now through the bankruptcy process.
As REV notes in its release, Ralph & Russo is an internationally recognized luxury brand that sells couture as well as ready-to-wear apparel, leather goods, accessories and sunglasses. With few to zero occasions calling for dressing up, the pandemic year is likely to have exacerbated any financial difficulties the company faced. Still, the pandemic also does seem to have erased some of consumers' reluctance to shop for apparel online.
"Ralph & Russo is a globally celebrated brand with a unique position in the luxury sector and significant brand affinity," REV Executive Chairman Tai Lopez said in a statement. "With REV's investment, there is massive potential for the Ralph & Russo brand to retain and grow its market leading position at the forefront of luxury design."