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Ben Sherman axes licensee

Ben Sherman has opted to move its suit and formal shirts licence from Berwin & Berwin to BMB Group from next June in a move that will see its retail distribution switch to Debenhams.

Berwin & Berwin chief executive Simon Berwin said he was shocked by the decision, which he said was presented to him as a fait accompli and seemed at odds with Ben Sherman’s strategy to shift the brand more upmarket in the UK.

The switch will mean the brand will be distributed via 120 Debenhams stores where BMB operates the suit business but will no longer be represented in House of Fraser, Moss Bros or John Lewis, where Berwin & Berwin operates the formalwear business.
Berwin added: “This is a business we built up from nothing. I do not understand how moving the formalwear upmarket tallies with a shift in distribution from House of Fraser, Moss Bros etc to Debenhams.”

Ben Sherman chief executive Miles Gray said: “We’ve worked hard to improve the positioning of the brand in Debenhams. In the end the decision came down to maths as 120 points of sale was an overwhelming factor.”

The brand plans to open a store in London’s Savile Row in September next year selling the full suiting range plus a made-to-measure offer, he added.

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