Gordon Brothers Buys Streetwear Retail Brand

Gordon Brothers, the Los Angeles restructuring and investment firm, announced it has acquired the Bench brand and all its related intellectual-property assets.

Bench Limited was a streetwear fashion retailer launched in Manchester, England, in 1989 that, until recently, was found in 20 countries in Europe and North America. As recently as 2017, the brand had more than 80 Bench-branded stores and more than 2,000 doors where it was sold.

But liquidity problems forced the British venture to file for bankruptcy protection in England. The women’s, men’s and childrenswear brand had been owned since 2014 by private-equity firm Emeram Capital, which acquired the brand from Amerciana International. Over the past two years, Bench has been struggling to turn around its business after being hit by a slowdown in demand.

In the short term, Gordon Brothers, which recently acquired the Wet Seal brand, will focus on re-establishing the brand’s European e-commerce presence while rebuilding the business’s wholesale footprint in that region.

In North America, Gordon Brothers will continue the brand’s long-term partnership with Freemark Apparel Brands Group, which has built Bench into a multi-channel business through distribution in Bench retail stores, wholesale and e-commerce.