Sunderland fashion business acquired for six figure sum just three years after it was founded

A successful Sunderland-based e-commerce fashion business has been acquired for a six-figure sum – just three years after it was founded.
Laura Middleton of The Office RocksLaura Middleton of The Office Rocks
Laura Middleton of The Office Rocks

Womeswear online clothing and jewellery store What About This (WAT) was established in 2018 as part of The Office Rocks digital agency, which is based at Hope Street Exchange in the city centre.

As well as a UK customer base, it’s built international sales, and has now been acquired by retailer David Quinn for a significant six-figure sum.

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Laura Middleton, managing director at The Office Rocks, said: “What About This has been a large part of The Office Rocks family for the last two and a half years and we’ve given it our all to turn it into the successful business it is now. We’re absolutely delighted that David spotted its potential. David’s extensive experience, ambitious plans and his desire to grow the business in the North East made him the perfect buyer.

David Quinn has acquired the fashion brandDavid Quinn has acquired the fashion brand
David Quinn has acquired the fashion brand

“We are delighted that the full team have remained in place, and that the transition has, therefore, been so smooth. We were all determined that our customers would see no disruption whatsoever."

She added: “I was thrilled to be asked to remain involved with WAT, offering my expertise as a marketing consultant, since the acquisition, and have therefore seen, at first hand, David’s exciting plans to develop WAT come together. WAT will always hold a special place in my heart and we can’t wait to see what the team achieve next.”

David Quinn has worked with a number of high-profile international brands but perhaps is best known regionally for his roles as MD of iconic Newcastle department store, Fenwick, CEO of online fashion powerhouse, Pink Boutique and director and founding chairman of Newcastle Business improvement district (BID) company, NE1 Ltd.

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He said: “I’m delighted with the acquisition of What About This which is a real success story for the region. I’m a passionate advocate for North East business and I look forward to channelling my expertise into the business to support the team and further develop the brand.

"The strength of WAT’s retail offering is underpinned by a skilled and motivated team, with a strong focus on customer engagement. I’m thrilled to be working with the team.”

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