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Jack Wills opens in the US

Young fashion chain Jack Wills made its debut in the US this weekend with the opening of its first American store in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Its next two stores will launch in the same State, with the second due to open in Martha’s Vineyard next month, followed by a third in Boston in July.

A US retail push has been on the cards for Jack Wills since the Devon-based young fashion retailer sold a minority stake in the company to private equity firm Inflexion in 2007.

In November, former Burberry chief executive Rose Marie Bravo joined the board of Jack Wills as a non-executive director and will help the brand to enter the USwhere it is likely to compete with US preppy retail chains such as Abercrombie & Fitch.

Jack Wills chief executive officer Peter Williams told WWD that Jack Wills will remain “British, British, British”.

He said: “We’re grounded in heritage, [but] we’re all about the tension between formal and casual.…It’s a traditional English tweed worn with a hoodie and a pair of sweatpants.”

Jack Wills has 35 stores and a transactional website in the UK. It is understood to have recorded sales of £42m in 2009, with EBITDA at £7.7m. For 2010, Jack Wills expects sales of £65m, with profits of £10.1m, according to reports.

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