|Founded||1999 (Salcombe, Devon)|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Number of locations||69|
|Area served||United Kingdom
United Arab Emirates
|Revenue||£41.8 million (2009)|
|Net income||£5.1 million (2009)|
Jack Wills is a mid-range British clothing brand aimed at university students. The fashion label uses the brand and registered trademark "Jack Wills – University Outfitters" to reflect the inspiration behind the brand.
The original Jack Wills store opened in Salcombe, Devon in 1999, and has expanded to include 60 stores in the UK and Ireland, three of which are outlet stores. Nine are in London, with the remainder in university towns and seaside resorts. Four stores can be found in Scotland and two in Ireland. Jack Wills' first stores in the US opened in Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Boston in July 2010.
Jack Wills was founded in 1999 by Peter Williams and Robert Shaw, the former who named the company after his grandfather, Jack Williams. The original store was in Salcombe, Devon located at 22 Fore Street. This original address is often written into the brand's handbook, clothing labels and in-store signs. In 2008 the Aubin & Wills brand was launched, designed to appeal to older customers. It was withdrawn in 2012.
The brand incorporates aspects of traditional British military and sporting design in its products, and uses a navy blue and pink colour scheme for its packaging and some of its products. The company often houses its stores in historical buildings, such as old pubs or town houses .
The majority of its stores are in the UK, however there are two branches in Ireland, in Kildare and Dublin. In May and July 2010, Jack Wills opened American stores in Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Boston. There are now thirteen stores in the US. Despite this expansion, CEO Peter Williams stated the brand will remain "British, British, British". In recent years, Jack Wills has begun to open stores outside of the UK, with a franchise store in Princeton, New Jersey, three stores in Hong Kong, two stores in Dubai, one in Kuwait and one in Lebanon. The company now owns around 60 stores in the UK and Ireland, the three stores in Hong Kong and the 15 stores in the USA . ( The Jersey and Middle East stores are franchised)
Jack Wills' products are branded with a logo of a pheasant with a top hat and a walking stick, known as "Mr Wills". The company publishes "Handbooks" each season: the Autumn Term Handbook, for example, or the Christmas Handbook. Jack Wills clothing ranges from traditional British formal wear, such as shirts, tweed jackets and blazers, to more contemporary casual clothing: hooded tops, sweatpants, t-shirts and polo shirts. Products such as rugby shirts and luggage are also sold, as are homeware goods and stationery.
The brand’s ranges are given a ‘private school’ and ‘preppy’ branding, as the Jack Wills pricing strategy means the clothes may not be considered affordable to everyone. Jack Wills feature sports-oriented, collegiate branding, for example apparel relating to polo, rugby, and also rowing, such as the J.W.R.C (Jack Wills Rowing Club). Jack Wills' "University Outfitters" title reflects its target market: university students. However, the label is popular in both Secondary schools and colleges. The brand does not use a conventional advertising model, instead relying on word of mouth viral marketing. This is often stimulated by the events they hold such as the Jack Wills Varsity Polo, JW Unsigned and JW Seasonnaires. In April 2011 the ASA upheld complaints about the Jack Wills 2011 Spring Term Handbook. The handbook contained some controversial images of young adults in a state of undress. In their ruling, the ASA said that "we concluded that the catalogue was sufficiently provocative as to present a risk to younger teenagers." A previous campaign in 2009 had also produced complaints but escaped a ban.
Aubin & Wills
Aubin & Wills was launched by Jack Wills in September 2008 as a sister brand, aimed at more mature customers, age 25 and up, who have recently graduated from higher or tertiary education and are in full-time employment. Its slogan "Modern British design inspired by the past living in the present" fits with their target market of 25-35 year old young successful individuals, bringing back the old generation of clothing to the era that it would had first been popular in. This would also consider it more of an 'Older' sister brand to Jack Wills due to the much more mature design approach to their products, which Jack Wills have used as an advertising technique by placing "Aubin & Wills 'Visit our sister brand'." on their website to help promote the newly starting brand.
|“||Our target market is 25-35 year old young successful individuals looking for individual effortlessly cool, exclusive clothing.||”|
In November 2012 Jack Wills announced the decision to terminate the Aubin and Wills brand in order to concentrate on the global growth of the principal brand. All 16 stores will close the first of which, Liverpool, closing in late November. All remaining stores as well as the Aubin and Wills website will cease trade by the end of January 2013.
The Aubin Gallery & Cinema
On 20 May 2010, the Aubin Gallery was launched, situated on the top floor of the Shoreditch store in collaboration with British artist and curator Stuart Semple. Under Semple's directorship the gallery's primary focus has been to provide a platform for a new generation of international artists and curators. It has also expanded to include off-site projects, for example with Miriam Elia's exhibition "I fell in love with a conceptual artist" at the Nave Church, international exhibition initiatives and a publishing arm. Since 2010 the program has showcased the works of Tom Ormond, Piers Secunda, The Girls, Alana Lake, Alex Bunn, Sarah Maple, Adham Faramawy, James Howard, NERO and Yasam Sasmazer amongst others. The 7,500 sq ft (700 m2). concept space also includes The Aubin Cinema which is run in collaboration with the members' club Shoreditch House and is a new social hot spot in East London’s Redchurch Street.
Jack Wills Outlet
At the end of 2009, Jack Wills launched a new website, Jack Wills Outlet. The outlet store acts as a medium for a "limited number of the Jack Wills community" to purchase last seasons' clothes at a discounted price, normally the end-of-sale price or less, up to 75% off. Access to Jack Wills Outlet is strictly by invitation only; membership is obtained by submitting a regular Jack Wills account to the waiting list on the outlet website and waiting for an invitation. Membership is reviewed every three months and Jack Wills revokes access privileges to those who have not activated their membership or who have not made a purchase during that period. This is so that the "privilege of the JW Outlet is restricted to the most valued members of the Jack Wills community."
The store has a "no frills approach" and does not offer gift wrapping, fancy packaging or guaranteed delivery times. Returning items to the outlet store is by mail order but goods can also be returned to a Jack Wills retail store. The outlet store offers the same range of products as the regular site.
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- Ashworth, Anne (July 27, 2007). "Sloane summer essentials". The Times (London). Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- [dead link]
- "Campaign Mag Website". Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Aubin & Wills - Jobs".
- "Aubin Gallery Official Website".
- "The Aubin Gallery". First Thursdays, Time Out. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Jack Wills Outlet - Homepage".
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