Gifts Today magazine

Menkind acquires competitor gadgets retailer

Future plans include increasing store portfolio and international expansion

Menkind, the UK’s leading multi-channel niche gifts and gadgets retailer, has announced it has acquired RED5, the Hull-based consumer gadgets brand.

As part of the acquisition, Menkind intends to retain RED5’s existing stores, warehouse and offices, plus its 220 staff. The original founders Jonathan Elvidge and Joth Baron will remain actively involved in the business during the transition period, as consultants to the management team.

At the end of the 2015 financial year, RED5 reported an 18% sales growth, a turnover of £18 million and pre-tax net profits of £1.3 million.

The acquisition will see RED5 and Menkind both continuing to operate as separate brands, with Menkind leading in the niche gifting space, and RED5 continuing to focus on gadgets.

RED5 was founded in 2005 by Elvidge, the original creator of the Gadget Shop, and Baron, as the ‘ultimate gadget shop’ with its first store opening in Hull.

It currently has nine permanent UK stores and four concessions in Hamley’s and Selfridges, in addition to a number of pop-up stores, and also sells product via its website www.RED5.co.uk and via wholesale to stores including Boots, Argos and John Lewis.

Paul Kraftman (below), the chief executive and founder at Menkind, said: “We are delighted to have acquired RED5, which has huge credentials within the gadgets arena, and until now was a main competitor of ours.

“Both Menkind and RED5 have distinctly different propositions and customer bases, which each brand owns within its section of the market. Whilst RED5 tend to attract younger buyers, Menkind’s wider gifting range appeals to the more mature customer. We feel this acquisition is key to the continued growth of Menkind, and anticipate it helping us to increase our market share and accelerate our expansion.

“Our vision is to be the brand leaders in our niche markets, increase our store portfolios in the UK and expand internationally. We feel, with the acquisition of RED5, we can confidently achieve this with both brands.”

Jonathan Elvidge, the founding director at RED5, said: “We are thrilled that Menkind has acquired RED5 - it was previously a competitor that we have had tremendous respect for, and we are delighted to come together in this move. We feel this acquisition will help to cement the future success of the RED5 business, and that both companies will benefit from additional support, resource, sector experience and expertise as a result.”

Menkind is a one-stop shop for boys toys, gadgets and gifts for men of all ages.

It employs 450 staff, of which 30 are based in the company’s central head office, and has 40 stores across the UK, plus 20 seasonal pop-up stores planned for this Christmas season, and also sells via www.menkind.co.uk.

The business was featured in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league of the fastest growing private companies in the UK for two consecutive years in 2010 and 2011, and in 2015 reported sales growth of 30% and a turnover of £35 million and a net profit before tax of £3.4 million.


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