William Reed acquires Retail Week from Ascential

William Reed has acquired Retail Week and World Retail Congress as it looks to complement its fast-growing business in digital content, insight, events and exhibitions with bolt-on acquisitions.

The brands will join a stable of retail-focused publications that includes The Grocer, Convenience Store, Forecourt Trader, British Baker and Food Manufacture in William Reed’s retail and manufacturing business unit. It also continues William Reed’s evolution as an events business, following the acquisitions of The London Coffee Festival in August, and Rethink, a fast-growing and world-leading events business focused on the agri-tech and food-tech sectors, in November.

“We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues from Retail Week and World Retail Congress,” said Charles Reed, CEO of William Reed. “Retail Week is a very strong, well-established brand, with a combination of reader revenue, excellent events, and a marketing solutions business that overall delivers great value to the retail community. World Retail Congress has been shaping the future of retail since 2007 and complements our strategy of owning market-leading global brands.”

The Retail Week and World Retail Congress teams will operate as a standalone team under MD Hanna Jackson, who will report into Lorraine Hendle, William Reed MD of retail, manufacturing and hospitality.

The acquisition was “the start of a great new chapter for Retail Week and World Retail Congress”, said Jackson. “William Reed’s market and core customer groups are closely aligned to ours and with the retail industry facing unprecedented change, this combination of two great businesses and their respective services and capabilities represents a really positive move for the sector as a whole.

“Retail Week and World Retail Congress is a great business, and William Reed is the best environment to provide the support and focus that the business needs.”

William Reed is a fifth-generation, family-owned business operating in the UK, France, the US and Singapore. Other publications in the stable include Morning Advertiser, Big Hospitality and Food Navigator. It also operates over 75 awards and events, including its ‘50 Best’ restaurant awards programme, the International Wine Challenge and The Publican Awards, while conferences and exhibitions include the UK Food & Drink shows, Low 2 No Bev Show and Probiota.