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New Owners for Paris Retailer Merci

France’s Gerbi family, founders of French fashion retailer Gérard Darel, are to take over the charitable concept shop from the Cohen family.

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FAMILY TIES: France’s Gerbi family, founders of French fashion retailer Gérard Darel, are to take over Paris retailer Merci from the Cohen family, which opened the charitable concept shop in 2009. The two clans are to host information sessions in Paris later this week to explain the acquisition. A rambling, 15,000-square-foot store housing fashion, jewelry, furniture, home wares, books and several eateries, Merci has an eco and charitable bent, earmarking profits for needy children in Madagascar.


Curiously, both buyer and seller in the Merci transaction made their fortunes in the fashion business in France. The Gerbi family sold their majority stake in Gérard Darel to private equity firm Advent International in 2008. A year earlier, the Cohens sold Bonpoint, the luxury children’s wear brand they founded, to French group EPI SAS.