The label has since evolved to a style that Original Penguin's vice president Jason Gallen describes as "downtown preppy".
"We really see ourselves as an alternative to J Crew," he
told the Oracle NRF Study Tour group.
A superior fit and quality fabrications are hallmarks of the brand, which is recognisable by its Penguin
"We're everybody's friend, we're an emotional brand with bold character in everything from our product to our mannequins and marketing."
The use of Oracle Retail applications has given Original Penguin unprecedented flexibility to adapt to its customer's needs and as Gallen
describes, meet micro merchandising objectives.
has six retail stores in the US, plus an e-commerce operation - a diversification born from increasing pressure in the wholesale business, Gallen
a clear picture of what Original Penguin
is all about, and its level of success has surprised even Gallen
"This store was designed to be a showroom for the brand to demonstrate its potential to wholesalers.
But it was very successful despite being in what we would consider a 'B' location in New York City," he
"We are looking for real estate opportunities and we have a store at a direct outlet centre planned.
But we're being very calculated about where and when we open new stores.
Fortunately the pressure from the rent side has really improved."
While there are no concrete plans for new stores domestically in the near future, Gallen
says Original Penguin plans to open five more international stores this year - two in the Philippines, two in South Africa and one in Argentina.
Currently there are two stores operating internationally - one in London and another in Argentina.
Having bedded down the first six stores successfully, Gallen
sees big opportunities for Original Penguin's
retail arm in the longer term.
"Over the past two years, we've stabilised our platform for growth.
Our goal is the expansion to over 50 stores internationally."
Having an e-commerce arm has been integral to the 'direct to consumer' model, says Gallen
is confident the company's existing stores will weather the global financial crisis by keeping the offer relevant and value-driven, without compromising on quality.