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Brooks Brothers rollout begins


Brooks Bros USBrooks Brothers will open its first Australian stores from next month in Melbourne’s revamped Emporium and in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Oroton Group signed a 10 year group venture to bring the US menswear chain to Australian shores in August, following the severing of the company’s local partnership with Ralph Lauren, which had previously made up of around 45 per cent of the group’s sales.

The Australian operation will replicate Brooks Brothers’ US model, with local media reporting the first site will be opened by February 7.

Mark Newman, CEO of Oroton, told Inside Retail PREMIUM in November that in addition to standalone stores Oroton plans to roll out Brooks Brothers department store concessions, outlet stores, and launch an online store by May.

Brooks Brothers was founded in New York in 1818 by Henry Brooks during the gold rush, a time when tailored suits generally took up to two weeks to turn around.

Looking for a fast and efficient solution for men’s suiting, the company began what it claims was one of the first ready to wear suiting businesses in the US. Its first flagship store opened in 1915.

Although traditionally a men’s suiting brand, womenswear now accounts for up to 20 per cent of its North American business and 25 per cent of its Asian operations.

In the US, it has a factory outlet component, which makes up a significant share of its total business, now worth US$1.2 billion across 467 stores.

Last year, Oroton was also given first dibs on Banana Republic and Old Navy, as part of its official agreement with Gap Inc signed in October.

Newman told Inside Retail PREMIUM in November the first Oroton-owned Gap store will open in September 2014.

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