Main menu


It's not just you.Tommy Bahama beach chairs are everywhere

featured image

Having started selling men’s silk Hawaiian shirts in 1992 and then branching out into a wider range of home furnishings, restaurants and more, this tropical kitsch brand is now almost everywhere along the ocean, from Florida to California to New Jersey. .

“Tommy Bahama is a lifestyle brand and beach chairs help enhance your idea of ​​sun and vacation. oxford industries (OXM)“You can see them on most major coastal beaches during the summer.”
The brand has developed a licensing strategy with major outdoor equipment manufacturers, access to Costco’s 60 million-plus members, and improvements to chairs since its debut in 2009, including backpack straps and extra pockets to hold sunscreen and smartphones. We have conquered the beaches of America thanks to our new features.

Oxford Industries’ Thomas Caldeco said on Thursday’s earnings call that Tommy Bahama’s sales were bolstered by the “return to leisure and holiday travel and a warmer climate for so many people” during the pandemic. It is also rising due to the permanent migration of

Tommy Bahama does not make chairs or beach equipment. They are manufactured by ShelterLogic Group, a leading manufacturer of outdoor and beach products, which also manufactures RIO Beach branded chairs and other huts, tents and camping equipment lines.

In return, Tommy Bahama licenses the name and design of its beach goods and receives royalties from retail sales. This licensing strategy means Tommy Bahama can increase customer exposure to the brand without incurring production or advertising costs.

Yruma says the beach chair itself is “an incredibly powerful marketing tool.”

“Being lucky is better than being good”

There is no public market share data for beach chairs, but Rob Silinski, president of ShelterLogic Group, estimates that Tommy Bahama controls 80% of the market for chairs over $30.

Tommy Bahama’s unexpected success story.

The man who oversaw the launch of the chairs in 2009, almost 20 years after the company started, never imagined customers would buy them.

“It’s better to be lucky than to be good,” said Doug Wood, the brand’s president at the time and now CEO.

At the time, Tommy Bahama was struggling.

The founder positioned the brand as a fashion line for country club men. Co-founder Bob Emfield said on this year’s podcast of the brand’s target audience that they were “avid Ralph Lauren fans.”

Emfield said they were looking to create a design that was reminiscent of “sun belt and dress down” and set out to use the name of an island close to the mainland United States.

“Hawaii was beaten to death,” he said. So they came up with the word ‘Tommy Bahama’ because I liked how the two words resonated.

The founder had recently left the company and the country was suffering from the Great Recession, with Tommy Bahama’s sales plummeting.

“We were a silk-based company known primarily for flowers A camp shirt for men,” said Wood. No one thought we were a beach brand. We were dressier than that. “

So when Tommy Bahama executives pitched Wohaod the idea of ​​working with SimpleLogic to sell licensed chairs at Costco, Wood didn’t think it would work.

But the brand needed cash, and Costco was quickly guaranteeing about $250,000, so Wood reluctantly agreed. “It continues to sell at an incredible pace.”

After success at Costco, Tommy Bahama expanded distribution to other chains such as Amazon and Walmart. Today, Tommy Bahama releases a new chair each season and emails subscribers en masse when it debuts.

Richard Guaranti Chief Financial Officer Costco (price), said the store “sells crazy numbers” of Tommy Bahama chairs. “This is a year-round product.”

Although the brand does not split revenue from the business, Tommy Bahama sells up to 2 million chairs and 700,000 umbrellas annually, Galanti added.

Tommy Bahama's most popular chair.

The company’s most popular product is the $89 Wavy Marlin Deluxe reclining navy blue aluminum chair with a built-in cooler, padded backpack straps, and neck rest. Costco, Amazon, and other chains sell more basic versions for around $40.

In recent years, ShelterLogic has expanded the Tommy Bahama line to children’s chairs and off-the-ground chairs designed to make it easier for seniors to get up.

As a result of the chair’s popularity, Tommy Bahama has expanded into an entirely new business centered around beach gear and more recently into women’s swimwear, coolers and t-shirts.

“We were able to build businesses that we didn’t have,” said Wood.