Blue Inc’s D2 deal will give it Scots presence

TWENTY stores from the collapsed Ayrshire-based D2 chain have been sold to Blue Inc in a deal that will see the youth fashion retailer’s launch in Scotland.

The sale out of administration, for an undisclosed sum, includes six D2 stores north of the Border which will be re-branded as Blue Inc within the next three to four months. Backed by former Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose and the billionaire Reuben brothers, Blue Inc now has 191 stores across the UK, and is aiming to build on its newly-acquired Scottish base.

“We see the opportunity for a chain in Scotland,” said managing director Steven Cohen, who led the buy-out of the former Mr Byrite in 2006 when it had just 26 shops. “The D2 stores north of the Border will provide an ideal base for growth.”

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Founded by Scottish tycoon Sir Tom Hunter, D2 was sold to its management in January 2008 but fell into administration just after Christmas 2009. Management struck a deal to rescue 40 of the 72 shops, but have since been hampered by tough economic conditions.

Administrator BDO said it was “continuing to assess the options” for the eight remaining D2 stores.

The acquired outlets – which include those in Ayr, Coatbridge, Dunfermline, Glasgow’s St Enoch and Fort shopping centres, and Livingston – employ about 200 staff. They will close for a few days for restocking and staff training, with plans to re-open next week to join in the post-Christmas sales.

Blue Inc specialises in fashion for young men.

KRISTY DORSEY