Frasers Group is new Gieves & Hawkes owner
Frasers Group has emerged as the winner in the race to buy upscale tailor Gieves & Hawkes, as expected. A purchase price hasn’t been disclosed.
One of London’s oldest bespoke tailors now joins a group that includes a mix of high-end and mass-market brands and retailers, and one that remains heavily committed to physical retail.
Highly profitable Frasers owns Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Flannels, Jack Wills, MySale, USC, Studio Retail, Misguided and many more. It also has major stakes in a variety of luxury business, including Mulberry and Hugo Boss.
Loss-making Gieves & Hawkes, meanwhile, has five UK stores with its flagship on London’s luxury bespoke tailoring hub, Savile Row. Its other locations are in Bath, Birmingham, Chester and Winchester. It’s understood that the stores are part of the deal.
Frasers CEO Michael Murray said the firm is “delighted to have acquired Gieves & Hawkes, securing a long-term future for an iconic 250-year-old brand. This acquisition further adds to our portfolio of strategic investments in luxury and premium brands”.
Gieves & Hawkes came onto the market following the collapse of its Hong Kong-based owner, Trinity, which went into administration almost exactly a year ago.
The company is known for made-to-measure tailoring that has attracted royalty (it holds several royal warrants and has dressed the current king Charles III and both George V and VI) as well as other big-name clients that have in the past included Lord Nelson, Noël Coward and Winston Churchill. But it also sells a range of luxury ready-to-wear with a two-piece RTW suit selling for around £900 and a shirt for £145.
Dating back to the 1770s, the company in its current form came about when Gieves acquired the Hawkes brand in 1974.
The acquisition fits into the Frasers strategy that includes buying ‘distressed’ brands and turning them around. As well as operating the brand’s stores, Frasers has the ability to do that for Gieves & Hawkes by selling the label in its existing luxury retail outlets so it would be no surprise if products started appearing in the Flannels chain and the firm’s department stores. It will be interesting to see whether Frasers maintains the brand’s ultra-luxury profile or offers a more hybrid experience with some slightly lower price points such as those seen at Hackett.
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