The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) is gearing up to open a multi-brand flagship and head office in London’s Marylebone.
The group is designing and refitting the store to launch in 2020 under the Jaeger fascia, but it will retail a blend of the company’s heritage brands, including Viyella and Austin Reed.
The first floor of the 30,000 sq ft building will be retail, and the rest will include head office functions for the Jaeger and Austin Reed teams. The company said it is taking the two brands “back to the West End” where their “heritage lies”.
It added that it is focusing on bringing these brands back to local high streets across the country. Last month it hailed Jaeger’s expansion as one of its “biggest successes” of the year, after shrinking its losses.
Jaeger now has 14 standalone stores and that number is increasingly on a monthly basis; since March 2019, it has opened 11. Jaeger’s total footprint has grown to 86 stores and concessions.
The latest store will be on the other end of Marylebone to its existing Jaeger store, which is located at 12 Marylebone High Street.
“Jaeger has made a fantastic return to the British high street and the customer response has been incredible,” said Liza Canneford, product director at Jaeger and Austin Reed. ”There’s a real affection for the Jaeger brand throughout the UK.
“We have an amazing design archive that has inspired the current iconic pieces that the brand is known for, such as the camel coat, cashmere sweater and tailoring, but we have ensured that they are relevant for the modern man and woman. Jaeger quality means that these items will be in your wardrobe forever.
“For over a century Austin Reed has been a destination menswear brand famous for its quality. The new collection reflects the evolving landscape of menswear as it builds on the formal, tailored heritage of the brand but combines it with informal pieces to appeal to a changing menswear audience.”
She added: “Since the brands were acquired by EWM we have repositioned them by combining the quality, heritage and timeless British style that they were renowned for with a modernity that had been missing.
“The brands struggled in the past because they weren’t given the strategic direction or investment they desperately needed. There was no consistent strategy and Jaeger had got into the habit of selling stock through discounting rather than really drawing people to its powerful brand. Under the new ownership, this has now completely changed.
“The new owners understand the marketplace and luxury brands exceptionally well. They are continually investing heavily in not only store openings but in the future of these fabulous brands. They are putting the quality and design of our products at the heart of everything we do, ensuring Jaeger and Austin Reed are seen once again globally as a real mark of excellence for British fashion.
“But rebuilding iconic brands with the heritage of Jaeger and Austin Reed takes time. Restoring them to their former glory needs to be dealt with delicately and sensitively; you need to make sure that you stay loyal to the brands’ origins. This is not a race to the finish line but a marathon.”