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Brooks Brothers Branching Out

The country’s oldest retailer has partnered with Von Maur department stores in Davenport, Iowa, to sell its collection in Von Maur stores beginning this fall.

Brooks Brothers is expanding its reach, both at home and abroad.

The country’s oldest retailer has partnered with Von Maur department stores in Davenport, Iowa, to sell its collection in Von Maur stores beginning this fall. The plan is to start with six stores and expand to 13 in spring. Von Maur is only the second retailer, after Nordstrom, to sell Brooks Brothers merchandise.

The assortment will include men’s furnishings and tailored clothing, men’s sportswear, women’s sportswear and children’s wear. It will include Brooks Brothers’ signature items including non-iron dress shirts, tailored suits, ties and accessories, along with knits and handwoven sweaters.

“Brooks Brothers’ longtime commitment to quality, personal service and product value is reminiscent of the traditions and values Von Maur has upheld for more than 140 years,” said Jim von Maur, president of Von Maur. “Our partnership with Brooks Brothers is an exciting opportunity for two venerable brands to come together to reach new customers as well as continue to impress our long-standing shoppers with new offerings.” Von Maur operates 27 stores in 11 states.

At the same time, Brooks has signed a joint venture agreement with OrotonGroup to develop the Brooks Brothers brand in Australia and New Zealand. The first four to eight stores and/or department store concessions are expected to open at the beginning of 2014, with additional stores and an online business to follow. Brooks Brothers currently has more than $1 million in sales a year in Australia without any store presence in that country, according to the company. The joint venture is expected to generate $3 million in sales in fiscal year 2013 and $50 million after five years.

Under the terms of the partnership, OrotonGroup will hold a 51 percent interest in the company. The deal is for an initial term of 10 years with a five-year renewal option.

Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and chief executive officer of Brooks Brothers, said, “We have partnered with OrotonGroup because of their passion for the Brooks Brothers brand, their track record with other premium brands and their retail expertise and connections within Australia and New Zealand.”

Mark Newman, ceo and managing director of OrotonGroup, said his company is “looking forward to building a strong and successful business in Australia. The brand is recognized around the world and already has a loyal customer base here, through its online presence. The partnership is an endorsement of our skills and expertise in managing premium international brands in our home country.”