Following the news that Jack Wills has been bought by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct International, Pippa Stephens, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company says:
“Though Mike Ashley has given Jack Wills a much needed lifeline, he already has far too much on his plate to make the ailing lifestyle brand a priority and implement a successful turnaround strategy. While Ashley recently admitted that he regrets purchasing House of Fraser, significant time and money are still required to resurrect the failing department store retailer, making it the focus if Ashley is to retain his self-penned ‘saviour of the high street’ label.
“Jack Wills has lost relevance in the UK clothing market as its heavily branded, preppy products no longer appeal to 16-24 year olds who now prefer more edgy, aspirational brands. Consistent discounting has devalued its full price proposition, while its stores have lost their appeal and uniqueness. Jack Wills needs to be substantially revamped if it is to revive its desirability, win back shoppers and establish a new loyal customer base. Without sufficient investment in modernising ranges and improving the instore experience, we expect it to continue to struggle in today’s competitive youth segment.”