North East Fashion Family Business Sold for Six Figure Sum

WHAT ABOUT THIS, an e-commerce Fashion family business based in the North East, has been acquired by seasoned retailer David Quinn for a significant six figure sum.

The fashion forward online store WHAT ABOUT THIS (WAT) is dedicated to providing curated ranges of stylish clothing and accessories for women. The business has seen impressive growth since its inception in 2018 and has added international markets to an established loyal UK customer base.

The founder and Managing Director Laura Middleton has driven WAT to thrive over the last couple of years, leveraging her expertise in community building and digital marketing to lead the growth of the business.

Laura Middleton, Managing Director, 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.

“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. 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.

David Quinn 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 as we start a new chapter for the business and build on the strong foundations Laura and the team have laid. As a team, we are hugely excited for the future.”

Following the phenomenal growth and demand of the founding company The Office Rocks and its hub of online communities, Laura’s partner Ben Middleton joined the business in 2019 to focus on operations and finance.

Ben Middleton, Finance and Operations Director, The Office Rocks added: “Over the years The Office Rocks has developed a number of online communities across a range of genres, with Laura and her expertise at the helm these platforms have seen
exceptional growth.

“When I joined the business in 2019, the growth and energy within the brand was very evident and we’re proud at what the team has achieved with WAT. We’re very excited to now be able to focus on our other brands and the underlying digital agency The Office Rocks.

The Office Rocks creates and delivers successful and highly targeted marketing campaigns to ensure a brand’s maximum exposure, traffic and sales. We are a small team with ambitious plans, and we’ll be using our extensive experience in media publishing and ecommerce marketing to offer full marketing services to online brands that are looking to grow.”