No longer all buttoned up, Oxford has embraced the island life. It's a top US maker of brand name and private-label clothing, including golf attire, as well as a retailer in the US and UK. Its Tommy Bahama unit makes branded men's and women's casual attire and owns about 140 stores and restaurants in the US. Its Ben Sherman business has stores in the US, UK, and Germany. Oxford's newest lifestyle brand is colorful Lilly Pulitzer. The firm also produces designer men's clothing under license from Dockers, Geoffrey Beene, and Kenneth Cole. Its customers include national and regional specialty stores, direct retailers, and department stores. Macy's, Nordstrom, and Debenhams are some of Oxford's biggest customers.
The US is Atlanta-based Oxford's largest market, accounting for more than 90% of its annual sales. The UK and rest of Europe represent about 5% of sales and consist mainly of Ben Sherman products in the UK and Europe, and Tommy Bahama merchandise in Canada and Asia Pacific. The company makes apparel at a plant in Merida, Mexico. It has distribution centers and sales offices in Washington, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and New York. Overseas, Oxford has sales offices in Northern Ireland, London, and Hong Kong.
With annual sales of about $585 million (nearly two-third of Oxford's total) Tommy Bahama is the company's cash cow. Dainty Lily Pulitzer, with about $138 million in sales, is next. Lanier Clothes, which produces apparel under license and private label products, contributes more than 10%.
In addition to apparel manufacturing, Oxford's Tommy Bahama, Lily Pulitzer, and Ben Sherman brands operate company-owned retail and outlet stores -- 181 doors in all. The Tommy Bahama and Lily Pulitzer shops are concentrated in Florida and California, while Ben Sherman has a strong presence in the UK. There are also more than a dozen Tommy Bahama branded restaurants adjacent to Tommy Bahama retail shops.
Oxford rang up $917 million in sales in fiscal 2014 (ended January), a 7% increase versus the prior year. Net income climbed 45% over the same period to $45.3 million. The rise in sales was driven by increases of more than 10% year over year at both Tommy Bahama and Lily Pulitzer, partially offset by declines in sales at Ben Sherman. Lanier Clothes posted a 2% gain in annual sales. Results at Tommy Bahama reflected the addition of 28 stores and rising same-store and e-commerce sales. Lily Pulitzer opened four new stores in fiscal 2014 and posted a 9% gain in same-store sales.
On a regional basis, sales in the US rose 6% year over year, while falling 12% in the UK and Europe. Sales originating in other foreign countries nearly tripled.
To better focus on its lifestyle brands, Tommy Bahama and Ben Sherman, the company sold its Oxford Apparel to LF USA in 2011. (The sale did not include the Oxford Golf apparel business.) Since buying Tommy Bahama, Oxford Industries has been focused on transforming its business to rely less on the competitive private-label trade in offshore markets and to concentrate more on its "lifestyle" brands, which lend themselves to licensing opportunities. Moving to a lifestyle model has allowed Oxford to extend its reach into new niches -- including Tommy Bahama restaurants adjacent to the retail stores -- and partner with successful manufacturers outside its typical industries who are looking to affix themselves to a recognizable name to grow their own businesses. In 2013, the company acquired the Tommy Bahama business in Canada from its licensee, including nine retail stores and the wholesale business.
Oxford added a third lifestyle brand to its portfolio in late 2010 by acquiring Sugartown Worldwide, known for its Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses. The company purchased the maker of the upscale Palm Beach-style resortwear for $60 million and retained former co-owner Scott Beaumont to run its Lilly Pulitzer Group business. The move also significantly boosts Oxford's retail holdings, as the Sugartown Worldwide purchase included 16 company-owned retail stores, several stores operated by third parties under license, and an e-commerce website. Oxford also is expanding by opening additional retail locations in the US and England for its lifestyle brands.
In past years, the company also has worked to stay in front of its customers and ahead of a global economic downturn. To avoid an increase in markdowns, Oxford Industries has been focused on tightening up its inventory control system. The company launched a Tommy Bahama website. Abroad, Oxford Industries has been banking on its London-based Ben Sherman name in the UK by repositioning it as a premium brand.
The founding Lanier family owns about 10% of the company.