A passion for shirts inspired Touker Suleyman to buy the Hawes & Curtis brand just over four years ago and inject it with new life. Together with his brother Mustafa, Touker has increased high-street presence from one store to 30. An 8,000sq ft flagship store is soon to open in London’s Jermyn Street, which “will probably be the biggest shirt store in Europe”, he says. The Hawes & Curtis core range now only accounts for 35 per cent of the business, with the Suleymans having added a Curtis fashion range and a ladies’ department. And then there are internet sales: items are made in Turkey from a factory the brothers already had up and running, supplying merchandise for Marks & Spencer. Turnover last year was £15.3m and growth 54.8 per cent. “All expansion has been internally funded and this year, we are looking at sales of £20m,” says Touker. Not bad, even if the methods might have Messrs Hawes & Curtis turning in their graves.
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