James Purdey & Sons Are Reimagining A Proud Heritage Brand For The Future

By CTH Editors

6 months ago

A heritage brand made for the luxury market


James Purdey & Sons is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book. 

James Purdey & Sons: Great British Brand 2024

When I joined Purdey before lockdown, I knew it was an amazing brand with a great legacy and history but I wanted to change and define our approach to the future rather than depending on the past.

What was hugely successful in 2023 was the development of our brand proposition and a better understanding of our customers. Instead of being a reactive business, assuming customers will come to us, as some heritage brands do, we’ve looked at how the three formerly separate parts of our business – gun-making, clothing and accessories, and shooting experiences – can support and interact with each other. 

With gun-making we’ve had four consecutive very strong years. Each gun is made to order and takes up to 24 months and 1,000 hours to build.

We relaunched and updated our clothing and accessories offering. Our guns have and always will be the pinnacle of craftsmanship and we wanted to elevate our clothing and accessories to the same level. With that in mind, we rewrote the rules for our Autumn/Winter 2023 collection – working with the very best mills, manufacturers, and artisans to create a timeless range of countrywear. Outerwear remains at the core of our business, providing not only the finest quality field coats for shooting but also beautifully crafted pieces for country walks. If you make products of high enough quality, like our guns, there will inevitably be desire for them.

A group of people sit and stand by a 4x4 car, wearing Purdey

Finally, we organise hundreds of shooting and simulated days at our Royal Berkshire shooting school and beyond, when people spend time with the piece of kit they’re looking to buy. This makes all the difference as our world is becoming increasingly experiential, and while people are delighted to own something they want opportunities to use it, too.   

As a result of all this, we aim to have very strong personal links with every customer and I’d hate to think we would ever substitute the personal touch or those strong relationships with technology or AI.’   

Dan Jago, Chairman and CEO

A gunmaker engraves the barrel of a gun

Five Proudest Moments

  1. When James Purdey opened his first store on Prince’s Street in 1814, founding a company that has continued his traditions for quality and craftsmanship ever since.

  2. When the second James Purdey was appointed gunmaker to Queen Victoria in 1878. We have held the warrant as the Royal Family’s gunmaker continuously for the last 145 years.

  3. When Audley House became our home in 1883. It has remained so ever since, and is both the last gunroom in Mayfair and one of the oldest in the world.

  4. When Purdey was acquired by the Richemont Group in 1996.

  5. We celebrated our bicentenary in 2014 by commissioning a new factory, allowing us to continue utilising both heritage crafts and modern technology.

What I’ve Learnt… 

  •  Hire and nurture the very best people as they will easily pay for themselves by over-delivering. 

  • Relentless progress, improvement and change are essential but not everyone changes at the same pace so always find ways to accommodate people in your plan. 

  • Protect your heritage while remembering that each generation adds to it by being original and innovative.

JAMES PURDEY & SONS

Audley House, 57-58 South Audley Street, London W1K 2ED

+44 (0)20 7499 1801

purdey.com

@jamespurdeyandsons