By  on April 5, 2005

NEW YORK — Tommy Hilfiger Corp. is back together with Toth Brand Imaging.

The last time the two firms connected was 15 years ago when Toth developed an image campaign for Tommy that gave the brand a popularity boost in the 1990s.

At least one analyst sees the return of Toth to Tommy as a good move.

Wachovia Capital Markets analyst Joseph Teklits said in a research note that in his opinion, “the Tommy Hilfiger brand is one step away from retiring to the moderate department store channel. We think the company will, or at least should, be open to a major overhaul of the brand. We expect the impact of a new campaign to be implemented fully by fall 2006.”

The analyst said Toth Brand Imaging, led by Mike Toth, successfully helped brands such as Coach, J. Crew, Nautica, Keds and Wrangler update their images and positioning in the marketplace. Toth worked with Tommy for seven years until 1998.

According to Teklits, Tommy Hilfiger has been struggling “everywhere but in Europe.” While the brand has “small pockets of strength” in parts of the South and in outlet centers, Tommy the brand is a “mere fragment of what it used to be in the marketplace,” he wrote. The analyst also said consolidation in the better department stores channel is likely to present Tommy with additional challenges.

“The most telling example of the brand’s deterioration is the demise of the young men’s Tommy Jeans business; at one point 10 years ago it was one of the hottest brands in retail, and now, shut down,” Teklits wrote.

Teklits expects a transition of more than a year for the brand to be repositioned.

Executives at Tommy could not be reached for comment.

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