Canadian fashion chain Frank and Oak announces partnership with New York retail acquisition group

A New York-based company has acquired the clothing brand, which sought creditor protection in June

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      A Canadian clothing retailer that was financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed its restructuring plans under a new partnership.

      In June, Montreal-based Frank and Oak had filed a notice of intention, under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, to make a proposal.

      The Unified Commerce Group (UCG) and Frank and Oak announced today (October 2) that Frank and Oak will become the first strategic investment for UCG, a retail acquisition and advisory group based in New York City that was founded this year.

      UCG will support Frank and Oak, which will remain headquartered in Montreal, to continue on in Canada, in addition to expansion into the United States and new markets, such as Asia.

      Frank and Oak operator Modasuite, which owed approximately $19 million to creditors as of June 22, will seek approval of the sale asset transaction from the Superior Court of Quebec.

      Hicham Ratnani and Ethan Song launched Frank and Oak in 2012, featuring women’s and men’s clothing and accessory collections designed in Montreal. Although it originally began as an online retailer, it expanded by opening up to 19 physical stores across Canada, including in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.

      While the company still operates a store in Gastown, the location at Metropolis in Metrotown in Burnaby closed at the end of August, leaving only one location open in B.C.

      Numerous Canadian apparel companies have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, including Vancouver-based outdoor clothing and equipment retailer MEC and Montreal footwear chain Aldo.