Beverly Hills Polo Club is one of the leading brands in the United States of America, where it has been established since 1981, and is rapidly expanding this success throughout the world.
The distinctive Beverly Hills Polo Club trademark is instantly recognisable, featuring the polo rider and hallmark Beverly Hills Polo Club text.
Originally founded on a very simple concept, the brand is now worth over $500 million per annum in retail sales in the United States alone.
The product range is focused on style and affordability, and has expanded greatly from the original apparel line. There is now a full range of fashion accessories from watches to travel clocks, small leather goods to luggage
Beverly Hills Polo Club is now completing its expansion through Europe and is looking for professional partners to work together to achieve that goal.
The original Beverly Hills Polo Club was founded in the early 20th Century, and took a leading role in the sport throughout America with many famous players. In 1981 two sharp witted Los Angeles students realised the potential of marketing clothes under the brand, and designed simple print T-Shirts and Sweat Shirts to help fund their college education.
Within 2 years, the success of the sales had been so strong that the students could no longer finance the growth alone, and sold the name to their Screen Printer.
Due to great demand from the retail community, in 1983 Beverly Hills Polo Club was developed into a Women’s clothing collection. The brand quickly became a household name synonymous with the coveted California lifestyle. The line naturally developed into Men’s clothing, and after 6 years the factory could not keep up with demand!! As a result they closed down the factories, and became a licensing operation, controlling the design and price of the brand, but outsourcing the production and sales to licensees.
The company currently has 90 licensees and 40 sub-licensees worldwide, operating in excess of 100 countries, and retailing over 50 different types of merchandise.
There are also stand-alone retail stores in Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East.
The apparel remains the driving force of the brand, but the accessories division is catching up fast. Already well established in the US, the accessories have made a great impact in other markets, and there is now an aggressive drive to push the success throughout Europe.
Travel Retail Sales
Since 1997 Beverly Hills Polo Club has been successfully marketed through the prestigious Travel Retail territory with great success.
Watches, jewellery, sunglasses, writing instruments and leather goods have been sold on the world’s leading airlines and through the world’s leading Duty Free Shopping outlets.
This unique territory has given unprecedented exposure to the brand and its products, and helped to create the foundation for strong sales outside of the home ground of the United States. The world’s largest international passenger airline, British Airways, has featured a selection of the products on its front cover, with a readership of some 35 million passengers per year. Products are also sold on leading airlines throughout Holland, Germany, Asia Pacific, Scandinavia, Middle East and of course the United States.
Built on the initial sales and advertising success of the UK Travel Retail market, an innovative range of Beverly Hills Polo Club products was introduced to the market in early 2002, with a very small initial budget. The success was unprecedented. Retail sales of the products for 2002 were worth £20 million.
The brand was successful for several reasons
- The product range was based on good quality merchandise, bought direct from the manufacturer and sold direct to the retailer, with only one distributor in the middle. This means that the prices are highly competitive.
- The brand itself had already been marketed throughout the world and on UK and international travel retail channels, which created awareness.
- Even people who have not specifically been exposed to the brand recognize it, due to the international fame of Beverly Hills itself, and also of course the polo player emblem. This emblem is similar to another famous brand, and indeed the 2 brands recognise the validity of each other’s trademarks in a Settlement Agreement in 1987.
- The market was ‘clean’ before the products were launched. This means that there was no previous hangover from a previous licensee who may have fouled the market.
- The target outlets for sale were not regular department stores but large volume discount retailers. In these outlets the volumes were significant to keep pricing competitive, and there was the scope to create an in-store shop-in-shop concept for the brand. Therefore there was a specific area showing BHPC luggage, watches, leather goods, jewellery, cosmetic sets etc.
- The Tesco ruling? The recent ruling banning the import of grey market goods into the EC has created a void of branded products in the market. Therefore it is very desirable to be able to guarantee legitimate supply of branded items, which can be made TO ORDER by the retailer.
- The range originally consisted of watches, jewellery, luggage and cosmetic sets, but has now been expanded to create a complete lifestyle image.
All products are designed in house by the licensee, and can be made exclusively to fit the retailer’s needs.
Mainland Europe and other external markets
It is the intention of the European license holder to launch the brand in at least one new European country each year. However, it is important to find the right partner to make the most of the opportunity. Each European country has its own styling, market structures, retail designs etc that must be correctly analysed to maximise the exposure of the brand.
The unique advantages of the Beverly Hills Polo Club brand allow for quick decisions to be taken, and for a very fast route to market. In the UK the product range was developed and exploited in the market place within 6 weeks, excluding shipping.
The success has been staggering, and of course there is the same opportunity throughout Europe.