Brooks Brothers Group, Inc and Walton Brown Group, a subsidiary of The Lane Crawford Joyce Group, Asia’s premier fashion retail and brand management group, today announced the establishment of a joint venture that will drive Brooks Brothers’ market expansion throughout the region. Brooks Brothers today operates more than 460 stores worldwide including over 130 retail stores in the Asia Pacific region, 90 of which are in Greater China.
The 50/50 joint venture, with an initial term of 10 years commencing January 2016, will leverage the strengths and capabilities of Walton Brown in strategic retail brand management in Greater China and the global appeal of Brooks Brothers, one of America’s most iconic clothing brands, augmenting its dynamic growth across the Greater China region.
The joint venture will take over the management of Brooks Brothers’ existing retail network of 90 stores in the territory and will activate a strategic expansion plan to open more than 10 points of sale in the first two years across key cities in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. In addition to freestanding stores, the joint venture partnership will see a deep investment in a multi-channel distribution platform providing wholesale, outlets, travel retail and e-commerce channels to bolster brand presence and fuel business growth in the region.
Building on the success of Brooks Brothers‘ ready-to-wear menswear and accessories collections, the product offerings within its women’s collection and accessories lines will be enhanced with the appointment of Zac Posen as the Creative Director for women’s wear. His highly anticipated first women’s collection will debut in Spring/Summer 2016 and will be available worldwide.
Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers, stated, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Walton Brown on this exciting joint venture which enables us to develop long-term growth strategies across multiple online and offline distribution channels especially in China, one of our most important growth markets for our global business. We are confident in China’s growth prospects in the premium sector for the coming years and this is the optimal time for us to position Brooks Brothers for long term sustainable growth.”
Mr. Del Vecchio added, “With Walton Brown’s in-depth local market insights and extensive distribution capabilities and network in retail, we believe we can capture new opportunities to further deepen our relationship with Chinese consumers.”
Thomson Cheng, President of Walton Brown, said, “In the 12 years Brooks Brothers has been operating in China, the brand has built a strong following of customers who subscribe to its unique heritage and rich history of design and quality craftsmanship. With the foundation in place, we believe the brand has enormous potential with the new generation of sophisticated and prosperous consumers in China and with the launch of the online business in 2016 we will be able to significantly increase reach with this consumer segment.”
Following the formation of the joint venture, Brooks Brothers and Walton Brown will establish a corporate office and showroom in Hong Kong in early 2016.
Walton Brown primarily is a full service strategic retail platform which partners with large-scale international brands to grow their businesses in Greater China by providing total geographic and channel coverage of the market including retail, wholesale, e-commerce, travel retail and outlets. Walton Brown manages the Juicy Couture and Kate Spade New York brands in Greater China. Walton Brown also currently operates the chain of flagship luxury Maison Mode in Chengdu, Changsha and Urumqi with more than 800 brands across 800,000 square feet. Its portfolio also includes an outlet business with large retail complexes totaling more than 600,000 square feet, offering off-season fashion merchandise from more than 200 brands, in Chengdu under the Times Outlets banner, and Qingdao. A 1.3 million square foot site is under development for an outlet in Changsha to open in 2016, with more outlets to follow across Tier 1 to Tier 4 cities in China.
The Lane Crawford Joyce Group is Asia’s premier fashion and brand management group, which includes iconic, luxury department store Lane Crawford, cutting edge fashion boutique Joyce, fashion footwear, handbags and accessories specialist Pedder Group, retail, brand management and distribution company ImagineX and full service retail management business Walton Brown.
The Lane Crawford Joyce Group operates luxury department stores and boutiques, free-standing branded stores and e-commerce and omni-channel operations. It has leadership positioning in designer women’s wear, menswear, shoes and accessories, cosmetics, home and lifestyle, and fine jewelery. It works with more than 1,500 international fashion brands – including 35 brands under exclusive distribution partnerships.
With more than 165 years of trading experience in the region, each of The Group’s companies is acknowledged as a pioneer in its space, being first to market with designer and luxury brands, and building brands’ businesses through dynamic partnerships and collaborations. The Group currently operates 620 points of sale across 50 cities in Greater China and South East Asia, with a total retail space of more than 1,600,000 square foot.