MILAN — Go Global Retail is acquiring Brums Milano, after taking over the San Francisco-based Janie and Jack from Gap Inc. in April 2021.
Brums Milano is a storied premium children’s fashion brand, targeting newborns to teens, with more than 150 corporate and franchised stores in Italy and an online offering of apparel, footwear and accessories. Brums is also sold at the Rinascente department store and in 300 independent wholesale locations across the country.
Parent company Preca Brummel SpA was founded in 1951 and is based in Varese, Italy. In addition to Brums, the company designs, markets and distributes children’s apparel and accessories under the MEK banner.
Jeff Streader, founder and managing partner of Go Global, said the plan is to “execute the same successful playbook that we deployed at Janie and Jack by resetting Brums Milano’s operational model and investing into the company’s digital capabilities.”
In 2019, Go Global bought ModCloth from Walmart Inc., as reported.
Straeder brings to the table his extensive experience in the industry. He has held a variety of senior roles at VF Corp., Kellwood Co., Guess Inc., Billabong and Marlin Equity and launched Go Global in 2016, attracting strategic financial investors, family offices, hedge funds and several partners from Asia.
“Brums offers classic designs with elevated fabrics and clean details,” said Straeder, in a joint interview here with Maurizio Occhipinti, operations, Go Global.
While praising its manufacturing prowess, the family-owned company faced some growing pains and challenges that slowed down its performance, so much so that a state-appointed commissioner was called upon to spearhead a sale and a restructuring. “Difficult decisions were necessary to make changes and keep up with the times,” contended Straeder.
A key change will be to expand Brums Milano outside Italy, first approaching France, Germany and the U.K. The brand will launch in the U.S. in 2024 and Straeder is eyeing the Middle East and Asia.
He also sees “significant opportunities” in online sales, as the brand’s e-commerce was underdeveloped, and invest in artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.
Straeder was upbeat about the brand’s future growth, also based on the success of the Janie and Jack business, which “doubled in one year and is very profitable now,” he said, naming successful collaborations with American Girl and Mattel. Janie and Jack counts over 110 retails stores in the United States, an online flagship and is also sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and other leading independent wholesale locations across the U.S.
With the acquisition of Brums Milano, Go Global will leverage synergies in back office for technology, e-commerce, digital marketing, sourcing and raw material collaboration for the two companies creating a global premium childrenswear platform.
The plan is to keep Brums Milano an Italian brand and build a customer data platform. Go Global will keep 113 employees, of which 69 are in retail, and move the offices from Carnago, a one-hour drive from Milan, to the city. Ten Go Global executives will assist Brums’ current management, and are “not taking over” the company, insisted Straeder. “We are operators, we roll up our sleeves and empower the management. We want to keep the company as a self-sufficient entity, maintain jobs and create jobs here.”
While Straeder declined to provide the amount paid for Brums, he said the fund is raising $150 million as Go Global’s first fashion fund to launch later this year.