Britches of Georgetowne is plotting a comeback.
The company, which in its heyday had stores in nearly 27 markets and sales in excess of $200 million, is being revived by its cofounder Rick Hindin in partnership with Stephen Wayne, chairman of Bum Equipment LLC and Stephen Wayne & Associates.
But this time, the plan is not to open stores but to license the Britches name for several men’s wear categories, starting with tailored clothing and furnishings.
“I acquired the trademarks,” Hindin told WWD. “We filed with the patent and trademark office, which determined that the marks had been abandoned. Then I met Stephen Wayne about a month ago and we worked out a licensing agreement.”
Hindin, whose company is Rescue Dog LLC, said he and Wayne believe “heritage brands are very much in demand in today’s marketplace” and Britches’ history fits the bill.
The brand, which was known for its classic men’s clothing, grew from a single store in Washington, D.C., in 1967 to a presence in regional malls around the country. Hindin sold the business in 1988 and the company went through several ownership changes over the years. In 1998, it sold the bulk of its leases to Wet Seal and it filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
Hindin said the new company hopes to line up licensees within the next 30 to 60 days and be in stores for the fall 2016 season. The line is expected to be offered to department stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, he said.
The target customer will be both Millennials and Baby Boomers, Hintin said, with two fits being offered: a younger fit and a more traditional fit. Prices are expected to be moderate, Wayne said, with sport coats retailing around $250 and suits and furnishings at complementary prices.
Wayne, who has licensed the Bum Equipment label as well as Sasson Jeans and Rampage, said he will start talking to potential manufacturers next week.
“I went to school in Washington, D.C., and remember Britches of Georgetowne well,” he said. “It seems to still have a strong [name recognition] especially in the Mid-Atlantic and the East Coast.”