Bradbeer said over the past two years, he has invested in consumer research to find out who the Lilly customer of today is and who the firm wants to target. After hiring Dee Warmath as a consumer research consultant, the firm found its customers not only have a strong emotional connection to the brand, but also overall spending ability of $45 billion.
"One of the most shocking things that we learned is that 80 percent of our customers have jobs, they work for their money," Bradbeer said. "We weren't addressing that. This is a big deal that we weren't meeting their needs for dressier items to wear to work."
In addition, the new year will bring more products — a fragrance launch and stationery, to name a couple. This will add to the brand's existing mix of jewelry, handbags, shoes, eyewear, sleepwear and home items.
Bradbeer and Beaumont purchased the Lilly Pulitzer brand from Pulitzer in 1993, after it had been out of business for nine years. Their mission was to bring the designer's whimsical printed dresses and sportswear collections back to what was a dedicated customer base. Today the brand, which is based in King of Prussia, Pa., sells in major department and specialty stores including Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. In February, the firm made major strides by jumping the pond and selling to Harrods in London — its first international account. The company opened its first store in Manhattan last month at 1020 Madison Avenue, adding to its other company-owned stores in locations including Greenwich, Conn.; Key West, Fla.; White Plains, N.Y.; King of Prussia; Dallas, San Diego, and Austin and Houston, Tex.
No longer an owner of the company, at 77 years old, Pulitzer works as a consultant for the brand, or as Bradbeer calls her, "our cheerleader." Pulitzer still resides in Palm Beach, in the house she built 25 years ago. She has a customized L-shaped pool in her backyard along with a trampoline and a playhouse for her grandchildren. The design team at the company often visits Pulitzer in order to gain inspiration from her surroundings, whether it's from a pattern on a pillow in her living room, or a small stone frog statue hidden among the lush greenery in her yard (which can be seen embroidered on a navy polo in the resort collection).