Thu. May 23rd, 2024
Moss Bros

Moss Bros Group plc is still one of the most recognizable brands in the men’s apparel retail industry in the United Kingdom after more than 120 years in operation. The company owns and runs a retail network of more than 165 stores around the United Kingdom, selling products under its brands. As well as those of other companies, such as Hugo Boss, for which it has an exclusive UK license. Men’s suits, especially premium suits, have long been Moss’s area of expertise. With around 30% of the market share, the company is the industry leader in the United Kingdom for high-end suits. In an unsuccessful attempt to enter the lucrative casual clothes market towards the end of the 1990s.

Moss should have entered the lucrative casual clothing market at the end of the 1990s. As a result, the company started a restructuring and rebranding program in 2002. And it was dividing its stores into three main categories: Premium, which includes nine Hugo Boss stores and 23 Cecil Gee stores; Moss, which has 95 stores; and Value, which consists of 37 stores that primarily serve as factory outlet stores in outlying areas. Besides its retail business, Moss is well-known for its Moss Hire division, which has long been the UK’s top provider of formalwear rentals.  

Stock Exchange Rank 

The London Stock Exchange lists Moss. Due to two hostile takeover efforts, Moss came under increased pressure towards the end of 2001 and for a significant portion of 2002. The Moss and Gee families possessed 38% of the company’s shares and 70% of the voting rights. Therefore the business was able to fend off both efforts. Moses Moses established a used clothing store in London in 1851, giving birth to Moss Bros. Moses’ business was booming. With the help of his four sons, he expanded tailoring services and founded several other establishments in London. In 1881, Alfred and George, two of Moses’ sons, opened a new store in London’s Covent Gardens, which would later develop into one of the city’s central retail districts. In 1894, Alfred and George Moses took over the family business.

Pond resorted to the Moss brothers for help since he required a dress suit for his appointments. They agreed to lend him one of their suits in exchange for a nominal daily charge and the suit’s return each day for pressing and cleaning. The Moses brothers swiftly established a successful formalwear rental company as the concept quickly gained popularity in London’s entertainment industry. The business swiftly gained a reputation for its rents and knowledge, notably in navigating the dress codes of the era’s British society. Alfred and George Moses anglicized their last name to Moss in 1898. And added a new rental department to their Kings Street shop.  

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History of Moss Bros

Moss Bros started gathering military garb around the turn of the century. And in 1910, they launched a new military rental and tailoring department. When World War I broke out, the firm experienced a significant increase in demand for new uniforms. It is mainly from the class of commissioned officers into battle. However, by that point, the brothers had already properly incorporated the business as Moss Ltd in 1914.

More than 75 percent of the Moss Group’s more than 100 stores also included Moss Hire shops by the middle of the 1990s. In 1992, the business started acquiring other retail brands, including Dormie. The company’s goal is to expand its retail operations beyond its core of men’s suits. And into the more remarkable men’s fashion industry, particularly in casual styles. It was one of the driving forces behind Moss’s acquisition push. So when the business bought the 28-store Blazer chain in 1996, it took a step in the right direction. The Storehouse organization also owned the BHS and Mothercare stores and acquired those businesses in the early 1980s.

Retailing Network

Moss Bros started to refine its goals, aiming for a 15% market share of men’s suits in Britain by the decade’s end as its sales and market share increased significantly. The business maintained its advantage over rivals like Marks & Spencers and the Burton Group by providing a large selection of premium labels. However, when the company bought the British retail rights to Yves Saint Laurent’s menswear collection, it introduced a new brand. In June 1997, Moss. Unveiled its first YSL retail location. That year, Moss’s sales increased to £122 million, bolstered by what seemed to be a resurgence in suit buying. Especially among the younger men’s market segment.

The retail network of Moss had 190 locations by 1999, including an increasing number of out-of-town inexpensive clothes shops run under the Brand Centre brand. The company also benefited from difficulties at Marks & Spencer’s, which held 15% of the market for men’s suits, while Moss’s share increased to 13.5%. As a result, the company’s sales increased to around £154 million by the end of 1999. After that, however, the company became even more difficult as more businesses started to have casual dress policies.

Moss Bros Cost 

However, the restructure sent the business into the red, with losses reaching £2.7 million on 2000 sales of just under £156 million. To assist the business get back on track toward profitability, Moss resorted to a new chairman named Keith Hammill. Hammill immediately abandoned the Code retail model, ending the company’s casualwear venture. Adrian Wright is the organization’s new CEO. The business refocused its operations on its formalwear expertise, realigning its retail network into three significant categories.  


Due to Moss Bros’ problems at the turn of the century, its stock price made it a target for acquisition. Shami Ahmed, who had made a fortune with the Joe Bloggs jeans brand, took the field first. However, the Gee and Moss families’ combined strength continued to exercise control over the company’s voting rights. It allowed the business to fend off Ahmed’s numerous takeover bids soon after Ahmed gave up, in April 2002, Harold Tillman, who had purchased Baird Menswear Brands. And which produced suits under the Jasper Conran and Pierre Cardin brands. It knocked on Moss’s door seeking access to the company’s retail network.

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