Long Tall Sally, a U.K. brand specializing in women's apparel for tall customers, as of Sept. 1 will be owned by apparel conglomerate AK Retail Holdings, which focuses on affordable brands that offer special sizes in men's, women's and maternity. A company spokesperson declined to disclose the purchase price.
The company has bought the brand's e-commerce business and intellectual property, according to an emailed press release. For now, Long Tall Sally will operate online only, although the company said it may open stores at some point "as we start developing the brand from September."
To that end, the company's Peterborough, U.K. headquarters is hiring up to 30 "talented people to help us develop the brand further." In focus will be North America, where Long Tall Sally already gets half of its sales.
Long Tall Sally's North American fans may get even greater access to the brand as its new owner focuses on how to grow its potential in the region.
"We look forward to developing that side of the business further as well as really bringing it back home and giving the loyal and dedicated customers what they have been asking for," AK Retail owner and CEO Andrew Killingsworth said in an emailed statement.
The brand, which caters to consumers 5'8" and taller, had a loyal following but struggled in recent years, caving in to the challenges brought on by the pandemic as it announced the wind-down of all operations in June, after 44 years in business. The retailer has been operating online only since closing all its stores in 2018; August was set to be its final month.
Investment firm Amery Capital, which bought the brand in 2005, sold it in 2016 to German e-commerce company TriStyle Mode, which itself is owned by European private equity firm Equistone Partners. In June, the company cited those investors' unwillingness to continue the business with the pandemic poised to exacerbate its existing challenges.
Instead, Long Tall Sally loyalists could have a say in how the line is developed from here on. In his statement, Killingsworth said he is "very keen to speak to all LTS customers so they can tell me what was right and wrong," adding that, "they play a big part in how we develop the brand and create an exciting new future, details of these communication methods will be announced soon."
The conglomerate focuses on segments often overlooked by mainstream apparel brands that limit their designs to a narrow band of sizes. Its companies include "curve brand" Yours Clothing, its menswear counterpart BadRhino, Bump It Up Maternity and Yours London. The company says its "portfolio has experienced ongoing and recent success due to bringing on trend clothing to specialist markets with a focus on fit and quality at a competitive price."