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Bluestar Alliance, owner of Bebe, Justice and other brands, acquires Scotch & Soda

Scotch & Soda operates some 250 stores around the world.
Scotch & Soda operates some 250 stores around the world.

Bluestar Alliance has added another brand to its portfolio.

The brand management company, whose brands include Justice, Hurley, Limited Too, Brookstone, Tahari, Justice and others, has acquired men and women’s lifestyle fashion brand Scotch & Soda. Based in the Netherlands, Scotch & Soda operates 253 stores across Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.  The brand is also carried in 7,000 retailers worldwide. 

Financial terms of the deal,  which will allow for the continuation of the brand and its products across key markets including the Netherlands, weren’t disclosed. 

"Bluestar continues to strategically build its portfolio and we see Scotch & Soda as a unique fit, widely known for its roots in Amsterdam and celebrating self-expression with a modern twist on timeless fashion pieces," said Bluestar CEO Joseph Gabbay.

On March 20, Scotch & Soda filed for bankruptcy for its Dutch operations, citing the last lockdown in the Netherlands (from December 2021 to January 2022), which it said was “particularly damaging” as the company tried to recover from the pandemic.

“This was then followed by the large drop in consumer confidence due to the war in Ukraine, the resulting energy crisis and the high inflation rates that followed,” the retailer stated.

Scotch & Soda, which noted at the time of the filing that the bankruptcy did not affect its entities outside of the Netherlands, has been busy expanding its global footprint, opening nearly 40 stores during the past year, including locations in North America.

Recent openings include Washington, D.C., Boston, San Antonio, Texas,  and Scottsdale, Ariz.  It counts 46 stores in the United States, and four in Canada.  The brand's 2022 expansion also included stores in Frankfurt, Dubai, Doha, Tel Aviv, Johannesburg, Cairo, Shanghai and Beijing.

The Scotch & Soda collections include menswear, womenswear, kidswear, denim, eyewear, fragrances and accessories.

"The niche brand sits on its own and attracts a younger fashion-conscious consumer who appreciates fine craftmanship and attention to detail," said Bluestar COO Ralph Gindi.  "Our goal is to continue Scotch & Soda's luxury retail distribution strategy, while also introducing the brand to more trendsetters, especially those looking to express their personality through their clothing."

Bluestar Alliance’s has retail sales exceeding $6 billion, and manages a portfolio of more than 300 licenses and a retail platform of more than 100 stores worldwide, reported Women’s Wear Daily.

As Scotch & Soda has expanded, it continued to roll out its rebranding, with the retrofit of existing stores under its new "Free Spirit" design. The concept combines warm colors and sleek design elements to connect the expected with the unexpected, and includes sustainable features such as LED lighting, FSC-certified wood herringbone flooring and hangers made of recycled materials.

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