Flannels, also known as The Flannels Group, is a chain of high end designer stores in the United Kingdom specialising in luxury fashion clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women. It was founded by Neil Prosser in 1976, who remains the managing director today.
As of 2014, there are eight locations including six Flannels stores open in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Nottingham, as well as Manchesterâs Life store and Flannelsâ Lowry Outlet store.
In 2012, sportswear giant Sports Direct bought a majority 51% stake in Flannels.
Flannels Fashion Found Me My Love - Another comedy sketch from Flannels Fashion! Flannels is one of UK's largest independent luxury retail groups, specialising in contemporary Mens and ...
The current managing director Neil Prosser founded Flannels in 1976 with a menswear store in Knutsford, Cheshire. After four years he opened a second outlet in Altrinchamâs Goose Green to much success and the inevitable happened in 1987 when Flannels opened a store in Manchester city centre. This âflagshipâ store introduced new labels to the city for the first time such as Giorgio Armani, Canali, Paul Smith, CP Company and Stone Island.
Based on the necessity to divide more casual and formal ranges, the âLifeâ store on Manchesterâs Old Bank Street was born selling a much younger, street-based style of product.
1994 marked the year that Flannels expanded into the womenswear market opening two new shops in Manchesterâs Royal Exchange Arcade. A Life store in Birmingham and an accessories store in Leeds (where a Flannels store had opened a year earlier in 1993) also opened in this year.
Neil Prosserâs friendship with successful retailer Jim Gibson lead to a joint venture in 1995 . with a women and menswear store working under the name Cruise Flannels being opened in Nottingham â" and subsequently in Birmingham and Newcastle in 1996.
Flannels Leeds, Vicar Lane, was opened in March 1999.
In February 2000, Cruise Flannels Birmingham and Nottingham were rebranded to become solely Flannels sites as Prosser and Gibson parted ways after growing to 17 stores nationwide. In May 2004, Flannels Cardiff opened its doors â" including a restaurant.
In April 2006, the first Flannels store in Liverpool opened in the cityâs luxury shopping destination, the Metquarter. A flagship Flannels store was then opened in the 2008 development, Liverpool One creating a concept store covering 20,000sq feet across three floors. The storeâs cool, spacious design sets the new blueprint for Flannels stores featuring original pieces and Parisian antiques in a minimal contemporary setting.
The Flannels website (www.flannels.com) was launched in 2007 as an extension of the business offering the same designer brands available in store as well as a designer clearance section. In January 2010, the website was overhauled by retail systems company Eurostop â" overseeing the retailerâs electronic point of sale (EpoS) software and head office retail management â" and in July 2012 the system was updated to integrate key business processes including a mobile site.