Thompson Holdings (London), the soon to be owner of Austin Reed Group's bespoke tailoring business, Chester Barrie, has pledged to expand the brand. Thompson Holdings, who are buying Chester Barrie for £3.7m, say they hope to expand and develop the brand both nationally and internationally. The company has exchanged contracts for Chester Barrie, which manufactures hand tailored clothing under the Chester Barrie brand name and Ralph Lauren Purple label. Completion is due to take place in October. Thompson Holdings also own Traditional Weatherwear which owns the Mackintosh brand. Austin Reed say they will maintain links with the Chester Barrie brand through a commercial supply agreement. The news comes as Austin Reed announces that it plans to reduce its emphasis on men's formal wear.