Gant to Celebrate 70th Anniversary in Overseas Markets

Gant is gearing up to celebrate its 70th anniversary, but the festivities will be centered around its strongest markets in Europe and Asia rather than where it all started: Connecticut.
The brand traces its roots to 1949 when Bernard Gantmacher, an immigrant from the Netherlands, and his two sons, Marty and Elliot, opened a shirt factory in New Haven, Conn., and began selling a button-down shirt to the broader American market. It was embraced early on by the Ivy League students at the East Coast universities and soon became a key part of the preppy uniform.
But for the last decade, the brand has been owned by the family-owned Swiss company Maus Frères, which also owns Lacoste and Aigle. Its net sales in 2014 were $ 1 billion. And while it has a presence in 70 countries and operates 93 stores, its U.S. distribution is limited to mainly e-commerce, and four full-price stores and two outlets.
Under former chief executive officer Patrik Nilsson, the brand three years ago set into motion a plan to reintroduce Gant to its home country. But those efforts largely failed and the company is retrenching and refocusing its energies internationally.
Nilsson exited the brand last June and Brian Grevy, the chief

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