The Flannels Group was established in 1976 by the current Managing Director Neil Prosser. Flannels specialise in fashion designer men and womenswear, and stock a wide range of global designer brands including Prada, Gucci, Paul Smith, Fendi, Hugo Boss and Dolce & Gabanna.
The group operatives across 14 UK based stores, including Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham, Cardiff and Liverpool.
Flannels – The Inside Story – Neil Prosser, the founder and owner of high fashion retail chain Flannels, has been in business now for over 30 years.
Neil’s exposure to the fashion industry began at an early age. His father’s career in textiles took the family around the world before they eventually settled in Manchester, UK. At the age of 16, Neil left the family home and headed for London, where he secured a management position with The Burton Group – an unprecedented achievement at the time. After four years on the shop floor, Neil was head hunted by Jeffrey Quinter, the doyen of menswear retailers and owner of The Village Gate Group, a pioneer of modern British menswear.
Soon after, Neil decided to bring the best in British menswear to the North and began looking for premises, eventually opening the first Flannels menswear store in Knutsford in 1976, where his opportunist business approach came to fruition. The Flannels concept was to provide the highest quality service and product, ensuring the customer was the number one priority.
He continued working alone until he set up the second outlet four years later. In 1987, Flannels eventually made the inevitable move into Manchester city centre, creating the first flagship store in the UK.
By that stage, Neil had no choice but to share the workload, eventually taking on a financial manager, operations director, and a small marketing team. Yet even with a decent support team around him, Neil was keen to keep control solely in his hands.
In 1994 Flannels branched out into womenswear, opening the first of two stores in Manchester. The aim now is to build the Flannels presence in all of the UK’s top 10 cities in a bid to increase both the top and bottom line at the £22 million-turnover firm.