Juicy Couture to shutter remaining UK stores
Juicy Couture is to exit its brick and mortar retail stores in the UK market, according to reports. The brand may still be a big name in Britain but it seems owner Authentic Brands Group believes its future lies in online sales rather than operating its own locations.
The company currently has only two remaining UK stores (on London’s Regent Street and in the Westfield White City mall), as well as running concessions in Harrods, Selfridges and Topshop. There is no news on whether its concessions will continue.
The brand has struggled in recent years and has lost its influencer status with its once high-end leisurewear now a regular feature on the racks of value-focus chains like Kohl’s in its domestic market.
The 20-year-old brand whose velour tracksuits were once a favourite with celebrities such as Madonna, JLo and Paris Hilton, had originally risen to prominence on the back of this celebrity endorsement. Its cool status and licensing deals helped it see total brand sales of nearly $500 million around a decade ago.
But with the brand suffering from over-exposure and the fashion cycle moving on from Juicy’s bling-oriented profile, it struggled to find a new direction that could take it forward.
It failed to capitalise on the athleisure trend that should have been low hanging fruit for a label with its origins in tracksuits, but it has seen something of a revival recently with this year’s Beauty and the Beast, Topshop and Urban Outfitters collaboration collections highlighting its ongoing appeal and instant brand recognition.
Authentic Brands, a licensing specialist, acquired Juicy from Liz Claiborne for $195 million in 2013. While that was much more than the $51.3 million Claiborne had paid founders Pamela Skaist Levy and Gela Nash Taylor for the brand a decade earlier, the price reflected its decline since that near-half-a-billion-dollar turnover of six years earlier.
Authentic closed its US stores the year after buying the brand, but said at the time that was committed to running its roughly-60 international locations and also announced plans for new American concept stores.
It has not confirmed its UK plans, which were reported in the Telegraph, nor given any timetable for its store closures.
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