Din Associates closes doors

Retail design specialist Din Associates is to close later this year following a failed attempt to agree a management succession plan.

Retail design specialist Din Associates is to close later this year following a failed attempt to agree a management succession plan.

A possible management buyout from co-founder Rasshied Din was on the cards, but the five-strong management team could not agree terms. As a result, the consultancy will cease trading in April at the end of the financial year. ‘For the past two to three years we have been attempting to work out a succession plan. We have tried all avenues but ambitions weren’t the same,’ explains Din.

The consultancy’s closure ends a 20-year business relationship between Din and John Harvey, co-founder of Din Associates in 1986. Staff numbers have already been slashed to about half and more redundancies will be made in the coming months as the group winds down, says Din. Din will continue to act as a consultant to existing clients and hopes to pursue personal projects.

Harvey resigned from Din Associates before Christmas and this week launched his start-up group, John Harvey Design Consultancy. He will continue to work with some of Din Associates’ major clients, including Toast, Fenwick and French Connection.

Din Associates managing director Jo O’Driscoll says she intends to ‘take time out to reflect on what to do next’. She joined the consultancy in 2005 and was previously head of design at BAA, responsible for airport architecture and interior design (DW 24 February 2005).

Project directors Angela Drinkall and Paul Dean, also part of the management team, were not available to comment on their plans as Design Week went to press.

Philip Dolman and Lesley Batchelor, former directors at Din Associates, left the group last year to launch Studio DB, a London consultancy working on retail, leisure and residential projects.

DIN ASSOCIATES

• Established in 1986
• Five-strong management team: Rasshied Din, John Harvey, Jo O’Driscoll, Angela Drinkall and Paul Dean
• 16-strong staff cut to seven; more cuts expected prior to closure this year
• Clients include Sara Lee, Habitat, BAA, National Gallery and Sainsbury’s

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