Retail & Consumer Services

Graphite has consistently identified fast-growing brands which have addressed evolving trends in consumer demand.

We have extensive experience of working with a wide range of multi-channel retail and consumer companies. Their products and services have included everything from fashion, health and beauty, stationery, books, electronics and computer games to automotive products. Looking at potential investments, we want to see businesses with a distinctive brand, a clearly identified customer profile and with the potential to grow their distribution networks both in the UK and overseas. The ability to grow a distinctive or innovative brand through an imaginative, well-researched distribution strategy is key to their success. Historically, the extensive roll-out of retail stores was a major driver of growth. Reflecting changing dynamics, we now complement this by developing a variety of on-line distribution models and working with our companies to expand into overseas markets. 

Over the past 25 years, we have realised 17 retail and consumer investments through a combination of IPOs, trade sales and exits to financial buyers, achieving some exceptionally high returns. Major successes include Maplin Electronics (which returned 9.5x cost), Game (7.9x), Ottakar’s (6.0x), Micheldever Tyre Services (3.7x), Sodastream (3.3x), Jane Norman (2.9x), Paperchase (2.7x) and Kurt Geiger (2.6x). To capitalise on this experience, we are looking to back businesses with a distinctive brand, a clearly identified customer profile and with the potential to grow their distribution networks both in the UK and overseas.