It can be notoriously difficult for brands to break into America. Cultural differences have a huge impact when it comes to marketing, and the USA differs hugely to our own economic market.
In recent years, several distinct marketing surveys have found that the feature Americans find most appealing about British brands is – surprise, surprise – their ‘Britishness’. With Anglophiles galore, the Americans have an affinity for UK culture, and some of the latest brands to crack the US have quintessential ‘Britishness’ in spades.
Turnbull & Asser
Gentleman’s bespoke shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser set up shop in New York some time ago. However, the clothier’s have just made the bold move to open their second; a large store in a Manhattan shopping centre.
Opening their doors in the World Trade Centre Westfield complex, Turnbull & Asser show a confidence rarely seen in British brands taking America. Straying from the relatively secure cadre of UK companies on 57th Avenue, taking the gamble and opening up in Westfield proves that the shirtmaker’s nerve is as steady as its wares and worth the money.
The New Year is always a strong time for luxury stationers and famous diary-makers Smythson. However, the London-based brand are kicking off 2017 with an even stronger show in New York, as they open up a store alongside Turnbull & Asser in the mega-city’s newest Westfield.
This is just the latest step in the brand’s stateside expansion. Just 10 months ago, the stationers opened a new boutique on 57th Street – followed closely by one in the city’s Financial District last summer. At the opening of the former, Smythson CEO Mark Daley also revealed that he would set his sights on Los Angeles in 2017.
New-age tailors Thom Sweeney no sooner set up shop in Britain than they also stormed the States. Originally established in a room in Mayfair, taking private orders, they expanded operations to Geneva, Stockholm and – of course – New York.
Last Autumn, just a decade after launching their brand, founders Thom Whiddett and Luke Sweeney released their first ready-to-wear line at luxury Fifth Avenue department store Bergdorf Goodman. And the bespoke side is going just as strong – with the cutters now taking a suite at the Gramercy Park Hotel every two months to facilitate burgeoning demand.
Penhaligon’s, Britain’s leading perfume house, opened its first standalone US boutique a little over a year ago. Located in Rockefeller Centre, New York, the store paid homage to the brand’s UK heritage – and now they have joined the illustrious list of companies to grace the new World Trade Centre Westfield.
But the perfumers are making waves on the West Coast, too. A new store opened in December in San Francisco, and the private consultations sessions with master perfume experts were lauded upon the launch, with Anglophiles in abundance flocking to the store for the quintessentially British ‘butler-like’ experience.
It may sound like a boring benchmark against which to gauge a company’s success, but sales equipment is a good way to determine how well a brand is performing in any given market.
And, given the fact that shirt retailer Charles Tyrwhitt spent 12 weeks at the end of last year upgrading these systems around its stores in America – New York, Washington and Chicago – we can see that the British brand has gone Stateside to stay.