Ever since 1897 when King Edward VII bought an overcoat from Aquascutum, the line founded half a century earlier by a tailor named John Emary has been associated with royalty. That was long before celebrity advertising became a major industry, but some very well-known figures have followed King Edward’s lead, including Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill and Humphrey Bogart.
Aquascutum has never aspired to quantity as opposed to quality, and as of last month the company had only 250 employees in the UK. However, even after the company was sold to British entrepreneur Harold Tillman in 2009, it was still failing to make a profit, and last month it was announced that FPS Advisory had been named administrators of Aquascutum’s finances.
Analysts say part of the firm’s problem is the lack of royalty rights in the Asian market. That is a high growth market for luxury goods like those produced by Aquascutum but those rights have been owned since 2009 by YGM Trading of Hong Kong.
FPS has also announced they will be closing the company’s manufacturing site in Corby, after 100 years of its presence in that town; about 115 jobs will become redundant. Aquascutum’s three high street stores and more than a dozen concessions, including Harrod’s, will continue to operate as normal, according to the latest reports. FPS says that there has been “a high level of interest” from potential buyers