There’s a downturn. There are shoulder pads. And there’s (an ever-increasing likelihood of) a Tory government: the eighties really are making a comeback, don’t you think?
It’s eerie: Michael Jackson mania, retro chocolate in the shape of Wispa Gold -- it may have first launched in 1995, but we’re sure you’ll agree the caramel has all the spirit as the original, c. 1981 – and against all good sense, Spandau Ballet has returned.
Now it seems Sock Shop, specialist sock emporium of that great lost decade, is making a comeback. What can we say? Nostalgia sells.
Bought out of administration by the Ruia family in 2006, and online for the past three years or so, it appears Sock Shop is planning a quiet eighties takeover, all stockinged feet and double digit growth.
According to a profile in today's Telegraph, the Ruias aren’t going for rapid expansion of the chain, but plan to ‘work the same steady, trial and error process that has driven the family business since its inception in the 1950s’. As the family has been importing socks to the UK for more than 20 years, so they probably know what they’re about.
The group – which holds the hosiery licence for Elle and sock and underwear licences for Pringle, Farah, Jeff Banks and Jeep, among others -- also owns the sock and underwear licence for Kickers. Glenmuir, the European Ryder Cup team’s chosen golfwear brand, is also under the Ruia Group umbrella.
The new highstreet offensive is kicking off with a new 60 square metre airport Sock Shop shop in Manchester. Stay tuned to see if these retro socks – and stock – take off.