According to a report in the Telegraph, Simon Wolfson, the current CEO of Next, is set to replace founder David Reiss as the chairman of Reiss, a renowned premium fashion retailer in the UK. This news comes after Next acquired a significant stake in Reiss two months ago, with the option to purchase a majority holding. Simon Wolfson, who is highly respected in the fashion and retail sectors, is responsible for the rapid expansion of Next and also serves on the board of Deliveroo.

Reiss, known for its status as one of the respected mid-sized fashion businesses in the UK, is currently majority-owned by American private equity firm Warburg Pincus. Prior to the pandemic, Warburg Pincus was exploring options to sell the company. Next acquired a 25% stake in Reiss this spring and has the opportunity to acquire an additional 26% by July 2022.

In addition to Simon Wolfson’s new role as chairman, there are existing personal connections between Next and Reiss. Reiss’s CEO, Christos Angelides, played a key role at Next for nearly thirty years. With Next’s significant stake in Reiss and the support of Next’s Total Platform operation, which assists the Reiss webstore and logistics, the collaboration between the two companies is growing stronger.

Reiss faced a major setback due to the global health crisis, despite experiencing a 22% increase in turnover in the year leading up to the pandemic. The company’s emphasis on dressier fashion didn’t align with the work-from-home lifestyle and the rise of loungewear trends. However, Reiss adapted to the changing market demands by introducing its own premium loungewear-to-street range.

As Simon Wolfson takes on the role of chairman at Reiss, it will be intriguing to observe how his leadership and expertise can further drive the growth and success of the brand. With Next’s substantial investment and operational support, Reiss is in a strong position to navigate the challenges of the retail industry and emerge even stronger in the post-pandemic world.

Useful links:
– Reiss official website: https://www.reiss.com/
– Next official website: https://www.next.co.uk/