Fashion retailer Jack Wills is to axe its sister brand Aubin & Wills after just four years of trading.
According to The Sun, suppliers were told last night that the Aubin & Wills name would disappear after Christmas. All but three of the 11 stores will close.
The company said the move will help them “capitalise” on international growth at Jack Wills.
In an email, Jack Wills executive Glen Tinton said: “Our competition has become sharper than ever and our customers have become more demanding than ever.
“Aubin & Wills is a brand that has captured us all in different ways and it feels so tantalisingly close to us having the brand right.
“At its core, however, it just does not have the fundamental business model advantages that Jack Wills has.”
A spokesperson for Jack Wills told Retail Week: “In order to focus on the global roll out of Jack Wills and the significant international opportunity for the brand, we have decided not to expand the Aubin & Wills estate and to close the current stores.
“This will enable us to continue to grow Jack Wills internationally, raise our global digital and online expectations and drive Jack Wills UK like for like sales over our competitors. We will, where possible, be converting Aubin & Wills stores into Jack Wills stores early next year.
“We will enter into employee consultation immediately and we aim to redeploy as many Aubin & Wills staff as possible to Jack Wills to minimise any proposed redundancies.”
Young fashion brand Jack Wills was founded in 1999 by Peter Williams and Robert Shaw. It launched Aubin & Wills in 2008 to cater to an older customer, aged 25-35.
The company was criticised this summer for marketing itself as “Fabulously British” while sourcing products from Europe and the Far East.