UK retailer Jack Wills axes Aubin & Wills sister brand to “focus on the global roll out of Jack Wills”
Aubin & Wills was unveiled only four years ago, the preppy retailer Jack Wills launching a more refined ‘sister’ brand and stating “our target market is 25-35 year old young successful individuals looking for individual effortlessly cool, exclusive clothing.”
Customers learned this week that the 14 Aubin & Wills stores will either be closed or converted into Jack Wills stores from early next year. The ‘University Outfitter’ has proved highly popular in the US in particular with its college campus locations.
For Aubin & Wills things haven’t worked so well, “I think they found it difficult to justify the high price points,” retail analyst Honor Westnedge told Retail Week.
Despite his troubled older sister, Jack seems to have had a happy 2012. Figures released by the brand in September trumpeted “29 new stores opened worldwide, over 1,200 new jobs created, $32 million invested in the international expansion.” The company’s revenues hit $195 million, “up 32% on the previous year.”
Jack Wills was launched with one shop in 1999 in Devon, but now boasts a major UK presence alongside two stores in Ireland, two in Hong Kong, and 12 on the East Coast of the USA. The brand has also announced that it will be opening stores in Dubai and Kuwait.