Yesterday Sycamore Partners announced it would discontinue the Jones New York wholesale business and close its retail locations over the course of 2015. Sycamore, which acquired the Jones Group Inc. last April, will pursue strategic alternatives for the Jones New York brand. A WWD source said, “The brand just wasn’t relevant anymore” and the brand was “a victim of the modernization” of the better zone.
The closure will affect 240 people in the corporate functions, and 120 people were let go on Thursday. Hundreds more will be impacted with the outlet closings. Spring 2015 will be the last collection on the selling floor, and the business will wind-down through the summer.
“Following a thorough strategic review of Jones New York’s recent performance and outlook, we have decided to discontinue the Jones New York wholesale business and close all 127 Jones New York outlet stores,” said Andrew Hede, interim chief executive officer of Jones New York. “We recognize that the Jones New York brand is important to many loyal customers, and we are pursuing strategic alternatives for the brand.”
Trademarks for Jones New York include Jones New York, Jones New York Sport, Jones New York Signature, Jones New York Jeans and Jones Wear. Jones New York has experienced lackluster results and has been on a steady decline for the past several years. None of the other business units that were acquired as part of The Jones Group Inc. transaction (Kasper, Nine West, One Jeanswear, Easy Spirit and Anne Klein) are affected by the actions that Jones New York is taking. Sycamore acquired The Jones Group in a transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion.
This closure is the latest of many once powerhouse brands that lost steam in department stores. The Liz Claiborne brand, once a stalwart of upscale department stores, was sold to J.C. Penney, and the intellectual property of Sag Harbor, a former moderate power brand for Kellwood and sold in most major mid-tier department stores, was put up for sale this month by Kellwood Co.
– Carol Calacci
Sources: WWD, ABC News
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Tags: Andrew Hede, Anne Klein, Easy Spirit, J.C. Penney, Jones Group Inc., Jones New York, Jones New York Closing, Jones New York Jeans, Jones New York Signature, Jones New York Sport, Jones New Yorkstores, Jones Wear, Kasper, Kellwood, Liz Claiborne, Nine West, One Jeanswear, Outlet Stores, retail detail, Sag Harbor, Sycamore Partners, wholesale business, WWD