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Exclusive: Ben Sherman mulls womenswear relaunch

British heritage menswear brand Ben Sherman is considering relaunching its womenswear business as it expands into new categories, Drapers can reveal.

The brand announced last month that it has secured a multi-year partnership deal with Team GB. It will create an exclusive clothing collection for men and women to be worn by the British Olympic team during the opening and closing ceremony of Tokyo 2020.

It will be Ben Sherman’s first foray into womenswear since it exited the market in December 2009 to focus on menswear and “minimise potential headcount reductions”.

At the time, womenswear represented between 10% to 15% of sales at the business. 

Oxford Industries paid £80m for Ben Sherman in 2004, before New York-based Marquee Brands acquired the business for £40.8m in July 2015.

Talbot Logan, senior vice president of brand management at Ben Sherman, said: “Partnering with Team GB at Tokyo 2020 will be the first time we make a foray into womenswear since 2009.

“Our big focus at the moment is making sure that we get womenswear correct for the Team GB women.

“We are certainly evaluating re-launching the womenswear business. The Olympics is a good opportunity to put the first toe in the water for womenswear, which is a very crowded and competitive market.

“However, until then we will focus on menswear because that’s what Ben Sherman is good at.”

Drapers can also reveal that Ben Sherman is adding fragrance to its lifestyle portfolio in 2020. The brand is also going to launch pet apparel, such as dog coats and jumpers, in spring 2020. Wholesale prices are not yet available. 

It comes after Ben Sherman re-opened its 1,000 sq ft flagship on London’s Carnaby Street earlier this month.

The new retail concept for the brand combines an “eclectic mix of textures and materials” with the aim of providing an “inviting and greater retail experience for customers”.

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