Michael Murray’s bid to elevate Fraser brand takes a hit

Michael Murray’s bid to elevate Fraser brand takes a hit

Michael Murray's attempt to elevate the Frasers Group brand has stepped up a gear after the Sports Direct owner confirmed it had bought Gieves Hawkes.

The Savile Row tailor, which has dressed royalty as well as Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill and No l Coward, was put up for sale this year after its Chinese owner was put into liquidation.

In September, Frasers interest in the 250-year-old tailor emerged. Murray, who has taken over day-to-day running of the retail group from Mike Ashley, his father-in- law, aims to position Frasers as an upmarket business.

Murray, 33, said this acquisition adds to our portfolio of strategic investments in luxury and premium brands. It is believed that all five Gieves Hawkes stores will be part of the deal, including its best-known location at No 1 Savile Row in central London. Its other stores are in Bath, Birmingham, Chester and Winchester.

Gieves Hawkes was born in Brewer Street in 1771 when he opened his first business selling military outfits to military and naval commanders.

A winding-up petition was issued against Gieves Hawkes and its sister brands Cerruti and Kent Curwen in a court in Hong Kong last November after Trinity Limited defaulted on a loan.

Frasers has a history of buying distressed businesses. In June of this year it bought Missguided's brand out of administration for 20 million.