Retail giant Next has officially acquired the popular brand Cath Kidston for a sum of £8.5 million. This purchase encompasses the brand name, domain names, and intellectual property of CK Acquisitions Ltd. In a strategic move, Next will license the domain back to the administrators for a period of 12 weeks. This will allow them to clear out any remaining stock before relaunching under Next’s ownership.

The acquisition of Cath Kidston was not unexpected, as the brand was put up for sale by owner Hilco just last month. This latest acquisition follows Next’s previous purchases of distressed retailers Joules and Made, showcasing their commitment to expanding their portfolio.

Industry analysts believe that the purchase of Cath Kidston aligns perfectly with Next’s long-term strategy of building its “Total Platform” business. This strategy involves operating multiple brands on Next’s own website and fulfilling customer orders from its vast network of warehouses. By broadening its offering and providing consumer credit options, Next aims to attract a wider range of consumers and strengthen its position in the retail market.

Cath Kidston’s unique appeal and brand identity align well with Next’s core brand, making this acquisition a promising move. However, due to limited warehouse capacity, fully integrating Cath Kidston into the Total Platform may be postponed until a later date, potentially later in the year.

While the future of Cath Kidston’s flagship store on London’s Piccadilly remains uncertain, the administrators will continue to operate a clearance program until June. Further details regarding this acquisition may be unveiled when Next announces its annual results on Wednesday morning.

Useful links:
1. Next’s official website
2. Cath Kidston’s official website