Fat Face

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Fat Face
Clothing & Accessories
Key people
Products Clothing
Revenue Increase 200 million GBP (2013)[1]
Owner Bridgepoint Capital (55%)
Tim Slade (6%)
Jules Leaver (6%)
Fat Face Employees (13%)
Other (20%)
Website www.fatface.com
Fat Face, Putney Exchange, London (now closed)

Fat Face is a lifestyle clothing and accessories retailer, based in the UK. It was founded in 1988 by Tim Slade and Jules Leaver as a business selling T-shirts at ski resorts.[2][3] The company opened its first retail shop in 1993; as of 2014 there were 209 Fat Face stores in the UK and Ireland.[4][1]


The business was founded in 1988 in French ski resort Méribel by Tim Slade, a former policeman, and business graduate Jules Leaver. The pair bought T-shirts wholesale, had them printed with designs specific to the resort, and sold them to other skiers on the slopes - at first using the proceeds only to fund their own skiing.[3] They spent the following years travelling to different ski resorts, where they continued to produce and sell ski and outdoor-related clothing.[3] In 1993 they opened their first shop, on London's Fulham Road; they named it "Fat Face" after the Face de Bellevarde slope in Val-d'Isère.[3][4] In 2000 they sold 40% of the company to Livingbridge for £5 million.[5] In 2005, another private equity company, Advent International, bought Livingbridge's interest in the company.[6]

In 2007 Fat Face was acquired, for £360 million, by private equity group Bridgepoint Capital;[7] the sale netted Slade and Leaver £90 million.[8] The company's sales were badly hit by the Great Recession, forcing Bridgepoint to write off half the company's value,[8] but improved in 2010 and again in 2011,[9] and Fat Face returned to a small profit in 2012.[10] Bridgepoint planned to float a quarter of the company on the London stock exchange in 2014, hoping to raise £110 million, but later cancelled the flotation due to lack of confidence by prospective institutional stockholders.[1][7]

The Chief Executive is Anthony Thompson, who joined in 2010 replacing Louise Barnes. Thompson had previously run Asda's George clothing brand and worked for Marks and Spencer in its clothing division.[2] In 2013 Bridgepoint hired former Marks and Spencer Chief Executive Stuart Rose to be Fat Face's Chairman; Rose was formerly Thompson's boss at M&S.[10] Rose replaced Alan Giles as Chairman.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Gareth Mackie (10 July 2014). "Fat Face profits rise despite flotation u-turn". The Scotsman. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b James Hall (22 January 2010). "Asda clothing boss Anthony Thompson defects to Fat Face". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Lina Saigol, Andrea Felsted (20 January 2014). "The ski bums who understood the bottom line". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b Jonathan Prynn (2 September 2004). "Fat Face pair could scoop £35m". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Isis set to land £20m in Fat Face market listing". The Scotsman. 7 February 2004. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Fat Face bought". Retail Week. 9 May 2005. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  7. ^ a b Scott Campbell (9 Jul 2014). "Fat Face reports sales rise after abandoned IPO plans". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  8. ^ a b Richard Fletcher (15 March 2010). "Fat Face loses £225m on write-offs". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Fat Face : company profile". Retail Week. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "Former Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose to be named new chairman of fashion chain Fat Face". This is Money. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2014.

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