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
unit makes branded men's and women's casual attire and owns more than 155 stores and restaurants in the US. Lanier Clothes offers men's suits, sportcoats, and slacks under such brands as Dockers, Geoffrey Beene, and Kenneth Cole. Oxford's newest lifestyle brand is colorful
. Oxford's customers include national and regional specialty stores, direct retailers, and department stores.
are some of its biggest customers.
The company primarily operates through Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, and Lanier Clothes. With annual sales of about $628 million (nearly two-third of Oxford's total) Tommy Bahama is the company's cash cow. That unit specializes in men's and women's relaxed sportswear, targeting affluent customers age 35 and older. Dainty Lily Pulitzer, with about $168 million in sales, is next. The brand markets its collections to women and girls, with more of a younger slant. Lanier Clothes, which produces tailored and casual men's apparel under license and private-label products, contributes more than 10%.
In 2015, Oxford sold its smallest business, the London-based Ben Sherman, a maker of men's sportswear that attracts style-conscious customers primarily in the UK, Europe, and the US. Ben Sherman contributed 8% of the company's revenue in fiscal 2015.
In addition to apparel manufacturing, Oxford's Tommy Bahama and Lily Pulitzer brands operate company-owned retail and outlet stores -- 206 doors in all. The shops are concentrated in Florida and California. There are also more than a dozen Tommy Bahama-branded restaurants adjacent to Tommy Bahama retail shops.
The US is Atlanta-based Oxford's largest market, accounting for more than 90% of its annual sales. International markets account for 10% of sales, which previously consisted of Ben Sherman products in the UK and Europe (Oxford sold Ben Sherman in mid-2015), and Tommy Bahama merchandise in Canada and the Asia/Pacific region.
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.
Sales and Marketing
Oxford sells its apparel on a wholesale basis to department stores and national chains, warehouse clubs, discount and specialty retailers, and other customers across the US. Its Lanier Clothes branded products are sold in more than 5,000 stores.
The Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer brands are marketed via print media such as catalogs, online (including social media), and through trade shows.
Since 2011, revenues have been on the rise: Net sales in fiscal 2015 (ended January) were 60% higher than they were in 2011. Increased sales of the Lilly Pulitzer and Ben Sherman brands led to a 9% increase to $997.8 million in 2015. Lilly Pulitzer sales grew as a result of such initiatives as e-commerce clearance sales and the opening of new stores. Ben Sherman sales (which had declined in 2014) increased both in stores and online.
Net income, which has also been rising as of late, climbed 1% to $45.7 million in fiscal 2015 on higher sales, which were ultimately offset by increased expenses related to opening new stores and restaurants and the payment of incentive compensation. Over the same period, cash flow from operations rose 81% to $95.4 million.
Oxford's strategy is to develop strong lifestyle brands with which consumers around the world can connect. For example, it is expanding its Tommy Bahama business to be available in upscale shopping malls, resorts, and other appropriate locations. It also limits the amount of sales promotions offered in its full-price retail locations and online in order to maintain brand integrity.
In mid-2015, the company sold the Ben Sherman business for $63.7 million. The divestiture came after the brand brought a loss from operations of $10.8 million.