Tommy Bahama Group sells the island life. The company designs and markets relaxed sportswear, swimwear, and other items under the Tommy Bahama name. Tommy Bahama's Fishbone pants, Cayman Camp shirts, and other clothing are sold through specialty stores, vacation resorts, and more than 110 namesake stores, as well as through about 15 tropical-themed Tommy Bahama "retail-restaurants" in the US. Licensees have extended the Tommy Bahama brand to such items as footwear, golf bags, luggage, eyewear, home furnishings, and rum. Founded in 1992 as a maker of shirts and pants, the company, which takes its name from a made up character, has evolved into a global lifestyle brand under the ownership of Oxford Industries.
The US is Tommy Bahama's primary market, accounting for 99% of sales. The remainder is rung up primarily in Australia and Asia. California and Florida are major markets for the company, which also licenses the Tommy Bahama name for stores in the United Arab Emirates.
The company's direct-to-consumer business, which includes retail shops, restaurants, and its e-commerce operation, accounts for nearly 70% of sales. In addition to its retail stores and e-commerce business, the company operates 14 restaurants, generally found adjacent to Tommy Bahama full-price retail stores. The retail-restaurant locations are situated in select locations, such as Naples, Florida and New York City and are meant to immerse shoppers and diners in the Tommy Bahama "Island" experience.
On the wholesale side of the business (about 30% of sales), the company distributes apparel to better department stores, such as Nordstrom. and specialty stores throughout the US.
The company boasts a buying office in Hong Kong from which it manages the production and sourcing efforts for practically all Tommy Bahama-branded products. The apparel firm keeps costs in check by enlisting the help of some 150 suppliers, mostly based in China, to make its products to-order.
Tommy Bahama rang up $528.6 million in sales in fiscal 2013 (ended January), a 17% increase versus the prior year. (The brand accounted for 62% of its parent company's sales.) Operating income increased 8% over the same period to $69.5 million. The double-digit gain was primarily driven by an increase in same-store sales of $33.5 million, the addition of 17 new retail and outlet stores in the US and abroad, and an increase in wholesale sales.
Tommy Bahama parent, Oxford Industries, has transformed the company from being a domestic apparel manufacturer to designing and making branded apparel that lends itself to licensing opportunities. Oxford's primary focus is to boost its full-price retail store count, increase the visibility of the Tommy Bahama brand, and reach outside North America for growth in lucrative markets. Indeed, the company has its eye on opening up to 10 new retail locations each year. It opened its first stores in Asia in 2012 and has grown to about half a dozen locations there. Besides establishing a retail store in Macau (at the Venetian Resort and Casino), and another on Singapore's Orchard Road, a new Tokyo flagship is its crowning jewel. The Ginza district location includes a restaurant, aptly named Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Bar and Store. The company also has locations in Hong Kong and Shanghai. In 2013 the firm acquired the Tommy Bahama business in Canada from its licensee, Jaytex Group. The purchase included nine Tommy Bahama stores in Canada and a wholesale business.
Strategically, Tommy Bahama is concentrating on this revenue-generating side of its business. The retailer's full-price retail locations, which also include shops with Tommy Bahama restaurants, bring in more sales per square foot than its other formats.
Tommy Bahama typically targets a worldly, well-traveled man or woman age 35 and older who enjoys adventure and leisure. Its target audience extended to the fairer sex in 2008, when the company added women to the Tommy Bahama lifestyle brand and an e-commerce website.
Tommy Bahama Group is a subsidiary of Oxford Industries, which also owns the Lilly Pulitzer and Ben Sherman brands. The global apparel maker acquired Tommy Bahama is 2003. It has grown to become the largest, most successful part of Oxford's business.