After less than two years of ownership Gordon Brothers announces the sale of streetwear brand Bench. Today the Boston-based investment company informs that it has sold the label with British origins to Wraith, an affiliate of Apparel Brands Limited for all territories outside of the Americas. Apparel Brands Limited, Manchester/UK, is currently one of Bench’s primary European licensees. Wraith acquired the brand for an undisclosed amount.
Gordon Brothers took over Bench (and all its related intellectual property assets) in July 2018. The focus back then was put on "restructuring the business into a more asset light – intellectual property-centric business model," as Gordon Brothers states. According to the company it secured several new partners in categories as diverse as casualwear, handbags, gym equipment, and workwear. Most critically, the brand’s positioning was overhauled to highlight the gritty Manchester skate culture of the 1990s. These efforts culminated in the brand’s physical return home to Manchester with the signing of Apparel Brands as one of its anchor licensees for Europe.
“Gordon Brothers is extremely proud to have played its part in saving one of the world’s first streetwear brands of scale. By successfully bringing our asset light business methodology to bear in this restructuring we were able to deliver a healthy business for Wraith to grow well into the future,” comments Ramez Toubassy, President of Brands for Gordon Brothers.
“We are incredibly excited to be taking over the reins of the Bench brand outside of the Americas,” says Peter Wood, owner of Apparel Brands Limited. “With a vibrant portfolio of great partners throughout Europe and excellent awareness and customer affinity, we believe the potential for the brand is sky high,” he adds.