Jack Wills is a premium fashion retailer of ‘Fabulously British’ casual wear, homeware and accessories for the 16-to-24-year-old market. Established by two friends in Salcombe, Devon, in 1999, the company has grown rapidly to become a well-established and well-run niche retailer with huge ambition.
In 2007, Jack Wills had 21 stores in the UK, a successful catalogue, and an evolving online retail model. Looking to roll-out its successful strategy internationally the company sought a partner investor to help improve its infrastructure and operations to support a multi-national model, whilst maintaining its brand integrity.
Following our investment (which took just two weeks to complete), we introduced the team to a number of successful retail entrepreneurs with strong international credentials, for example, former Burberry Chief Executive Rose Marie Bravo, who now sits on the Jack Wills Board. In addition, we worked closely with the company’s founders to build a management team fit for an ambitious, international business. In 2013, the founder CEO, Peter Williams decided to hand over the reins to a new CEO, Wendy Becker.
Through our investment we’ve helped to establish the brand’s presence in the US and Hong Kong and via franchises in the Middle East. The number of stores has grown from 21 in the UK at investment to in excess of 80 in 4 continents today.
Having professionalised the business, we have also put in place the right infrastructure for growth and are helping to accelerate the brand‘s digital evolution.