Brooks Bros. has opened two flagship stores, in London and Paris , as part of its international expansion plan. The US menswear and womenswear retailer has opened both stores in prime locations, on the Rue Saint HonorÃ© in Paris and on Regent Street in London . The purveyor of classic apparel is as yet unknown in these markets and is targeting multilingual, international clients in Paris and finds itself amidst tourist traffic on Regent Street .
Carla Annunziato, vice president of Brooks Bros. international division, told WWD that she expects the fashion-driven items â€“ which include high-heeled riding boots and cropped suede jackets â€“ to do particularly well in Europe . The retailer will also offer luxury goods like an ostrich feather handbag for â‚¬1.698 and a cashmere blazer priced at â‚¬898 and basics like button-down shirts, wool blazers and skirts. Only 15 percent of the company’s offering consists of women’s wear, but the Paris store has filled an entire room to womenswear. She declined to give first-year sales projections, but WWD quotes market sources’ estimations of annual sales of $10 million (Â£5.25 million).
The UK flagship occupies 11,000 square feet divided over two levels. It is not the brand’s first store in the UK , but it is the first offering womenswear and accessories. It also carries the boys’ collection for the first time, with the boys’ tuxedo already a popular item among women. Quilted suede jackets, shirts with French cuffs, silk and cashmere sweaters and fashion pearl jewellery are also doing very well, according to Annunziato. In Paris , fashion and luxury items are proving a success with consumers. Popular items there include a cashmere pinstripe shawl, a black sheath dress and women’s shoes. No sales projections have been given for the Regent Street store however Edward Whitefield, chairman of Management Horizons Europe, told WWD: â€œAs Brooks Bros. is a completely unknown brand in the UK and Europe , I’d expect it to do between Â£3 million and Â£4 million in sales in the first year. I don’t see it being anymore than that. Your average shopper on Regent Street â€“ 50 percent of whom are tourists from places like Eastern Europe , Japan and Saudi Arabia â€“ hasn’t heard of the brand. Brooks Bros. has a nice formula, but most people on Regent Street won’t know the brand.â€ Executives were unavailable for comment.
Brooks Bros. is planning on opening 10 more stores in the UK over the next three to five years, which will bring the total here to 12. Last year it opened a store on Old Broad Street in the City.