Wilsons Scaling Back

To close as many as 160 units and convert remainder of non-outlet operations to Studio women’s accessories concept.

Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc. said Friday morning it would take a step back from the mall, closing up to 160 stores while converting the remaining 100 door to the Studio women’s accessories concept it has been testing since fall.
The remodeling should be done by August and the process will affect roughly 938 store-related positions. The firm will also eliminate 64 positions in its headquarters, overseas offices and a distribution center.

“We expect the cost reduction initiative will enable us to reduce our working capital needs and strengthen our business, as well as provide capital for our remodel efforts to convert all remaining mall stores into our new Studio concept,” said Mike Searles, chief executive officer.

The outlet division will not be impacted by the restructuring.

For further coverage, see Tuesday’s WWD.

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