Jermyn Street shirtmaker Hawes & Curtis is relaunching as a lifestyle brand, adding new product categories and seeking larger stores.
Over the next three months, the retailer will trial the introduction of countrywear as well as swimwear, chinos and casual shoes, reducing the emphasis on shirts.
The changes will appear in its flagship at 33-34 Jermyn Street, online and in a handful of larger stores to begin with, ahead of a wider rollout if deemed a success.
Entrepreneur Touker Suleyman, who was last week named as a judge on the next series of BBC’s Dragons’ Den, bought Hawes & Curtis for £1 in 2001. It currently has an annual turnover of around £30m and is debt free.
He told Drapers: “The shirt offer won’t be different, but the experience and journey in store will. The collection will get a lot bigger. By June/July, you won’t recognise the flagship.”
Womenswear will be bolstered with blouses and dresses, but menswear will remain the key focus. Some of the in-store fixtures and visuals will change to reflect the new product mix, with a new shop concept expected within six to eight weeks.
Hawes & Curtis has 28 stores in the UK and one in Cologne, Germany. Five new stores in the UK are under offer and Suleyman will also look to upsize some existing units, such as those in shopping centres, to accommodate the growing number of categories.
Outside of the UK, he is trying to find the right property for a company-owned store in New York and is in talks with potential franchise partners in Canada and Pakistan. Hawes & Curtis already has a franchise agreement with Korath Holding for stores in the Middle East.
Suleyman’s other main fashion business, womenswear brand Ghost, is also undergoing a rebranding, placing more emphasis on its dye-to-order bridesmaid dresses.
He will begin wholesaling Ghost for the first time within the next couple of months, testing the water initially with the bridesmaid dresses, which will be priced at around £80 to £100 with a 2.8 mark up.
Ira Blink, former head of wholesale at premium kidswear brand Marie-Chantal, joined Ghost as its first sales manager on March 23. Target stockists will include Fenwick, Liberty, House of Fraser and John Lewis, as well as some independents.
Ghost’s store at 120 King’s Road, London, is being refurbished and will open on April 15. It has a second store in Westfield London, three outlets across England and concessions in John Lewis.
Suleyman is also in talks with an agent to sell the brand in the US.