Manufacturer and e-retailer Oxford Industries Inc. announced this week that it has acquired Sugartown Worldwide Inc., the owner of women’s apparel brand Lilly Pulitzer. Terms were not disclosed.
Oxford operates the e-retail sites for two men’s clothing brands, Tommy Bahama and Ben Sherman. Oxford Industries chairman and chief executive officer J. Hicks Lanier says the acquisition of the Lilly Pulitzer brand helps the company in its diversification efforts. “We have managed to pick up an outstanding brand, a strong business and a superior management team,” he says. “We’re pleased to take another important step on our strategic path to transform Oxford into a portfolio-diversified lifestyle business.”
The Lilly Pulitzer brand was launched by its namesake in the late 1950s and is known for its colorful prints and dresses. Internet Retailer named LillyPulitzer.com to its Hot 100 list of top retail sites for 2011. It began selling online in 2008 at LillyPulitzer.com.
A Sugartown Worldwide executive says it was not seeking to sell itself, but that Oxford approached the company. “We have been approached by interested parties many times in the past but never felt that any were the right partner for us. We believe that joining forces with Oxford will enable us to best pursue our vision for the brand and to continue our growth trajectory,” says Scott Beaumont, CEO of Lilly Pulitzer Group.