Brooks Brothers looks to Europe and Asia for expansion
Coinciding with its 200th anniversary celebrations, 2018 looks to be an intense year for Brooks Brothers. With a runway show (the first of its kind for the brand) scheduled for January 10 in Florence, as part of Pitti Uomo, the iconic American brand will celebrate two more times in different locations during 2018; one in New York on April 7 and the other in Tokyo in the fall.
Japan is in fact the second most important market, after the United States, for Brooks Brothers, which has been present in the country for some forty years in a tie up with local distributor, Daidoh.
In the new financial year from August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018, the firm is looking for growth across all markets globally.
"During the last financial year, we recorded revenues of around 1 billion euros, with international sales compensating for a slight drop in domestic market sales," the brand's EMEA region CEO, Luca Gastaldi, told FashionNetwork.com.
"The company has had three very active years in the American market, where we make 65% of total sales. We are one of the only American retailers to have never closed a store in this country, and much of our development has been international," added Gastaldi.
Known for its 'button-down' collared shirts, the brand, in which menswear accounts for 80% of total sales, operates 700 points of sales across of the globe, with 300 in Europe; a market which has seen revenues double over the last five years.
In certain markets, such as the Middle East, Russia and Turkey, Brooks Brothers has managed to develop partnerships with local distributors. In Europe, it boasts close to 150 resellers, mostly inside department stores, such as El Corte Inglés in Spain, via branded counters.
"In Europe, in the more mature markets, we are going to consolidate our position this year with more punctual openings. On the other hand, we plan to be more aggressive with store openings in China and Greater China, where will are still quite small," said the manager.
The expansion will happen via a new business strategy that involves smaller formats in comparison to the average 500-square-metre store size already in the U.S., as well as the introduction of new services.
As underlined by Gastaldi: "We want to revisit the client's instore experience via our salespeople, which will have a role change. We will launch a new omnichannel strategy in the U.S., which will be rolled out to the rest of the world in the next two years."
Currently, e-commerce represents 15% of sales in the U.S, but is only slightly developed overseas. The brand, founded in 1818 and bought in 2001 by Italian Claudio Del Vechhio, who also owns Marks & Spencer, added also wants to strengthen its social media presence.
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