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Crombie saved by new owners aiming to “inject new energy”

Tom Bottomley
25 March 2022

Heritage British brand Crombie has been acquired by new owners Crombie 1805 Ltd for an undisclosed sum, headed by Managing Director Gordon Ritchie and backed by private investors.

Crombie ceased trading at the start of the pandemic in 2020, and was previously owned by J and J Crombie Ltd for 40 years. The new company has all rights to trademarks, IP, stock and artefacts and Crombie will continue as the brand name.

Ritchie said: “Our aim is to inject a new energy into Crombie, raise the profile globally and broaden the perception of the brand. We are open for business and interested in collaborations, partnerships and licensing agreements across all territories and categories.

“The Crombie history is an incredible story and we are very pleased to be able to continue the legacy of one of the world’s most famous brands.”

Most famous for the Crombie coat, Ritchie previously led the expansion of Crombie into full collections and new categories, including rainwear, knitwear, leather goods and accessories, sold internationally.

“We look forward to creating the next chapter of the Crombie story so it can continue to thrive for the next 200 years,” added Ritchie.

 

Timeline: Highlights from the Crombie story

  • 1805 - Crombie founded in Aberdeen, Scotland.
  • John Crombie, believing his cloth to be of the finest quality, travels to London on horseback.
  • 1850’s: Crombie receives awards from Queen Victoria and Napoleon III, moves to Grandholm Mills, which becomes the UK’S most famous wool mill.
  • 1860’s: The Crombie label becomes a significant mark of quality. The company introduces ready-made garments in receipt of contracts to make for the British Army and Royal Air Force which would run into the following century.
  • 1920’s -1950’s: Crombie coats are the choice of men at all levels of society. King George VI, Winston Churchill and Cary Grant notably wear Crombie.
  • 1961: John F Kennedy wears a Crombie Coat at his inauguration, and subsequent Presidents followed, up to and including Barack Obama.
  • 1964: The Beatles arrive in America dressed in Crombie coats.
  • 1960’s -1980’s: From 60’s mods, 70’s suede-heads and 80’s rude boys, through the decades Crombie retains an aspirational relevance to successive generations of sharply dressed of modern youth.
  • 1995: Crombie is awarded The Royal Warrant by Prince Charles.
  • 2000: Crombie opens a flagship store in Conduit Street, Mayfair, London.
  • 2011: Crombie launches in department stores in over 35 countries. Spring/summer collections are launched for the first time and there is new focus on luxury, accessories, rainwear and leather goods as the collections expand.
  • 2020: Crombie ceases trading at the start of the pandemic.
  • 2022: Crombie is acquired by the first new owners in over 40 years.
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