Li & Fung may be Liz Claiborne Inc.’s solution to its “problem child” Mexx.
The Chinese supply chain giant is said to be in talks with Claiborne to not only take over sourcing for the $1 billion direct brand, but possibly to buy the whole Mexx business.
Sources speculated reports that Claiborne might sell Mexx were the reason Claiborne’s stock fully rebounded Thursday from a 12 percent drop Wednesday. With Claiborne focused on paying down debt and faced with what’s turning out to be a tough turnaround of Mexx’s troubled European business, selling the brand “would be one less headache,” as one source put it.
After posting a $23.2 million second-quarter loss Wednesday, in which Mexx’s longer-than-expected European turnaround played a large role, Claiborne said it was considering changing the Amsterdam-based retailer’s sourcing.
“We’re actively assessing options to improve our sourcing in terms of costs, speed and quality at Mexx,” Claiborne chief executive officer William L. McComb said in the company’s earnings call. “We are not prepared right now to get into any detail on the considerations there, but we see real savings and speed advantages that are achievable.”
McComb declined further comment Thursday, and Li & Fung USA president Rick Darling could not be reached.
Li & Fung has taken an interest in turning around Claiborne’s unprofitable brands before, buying four of its moderate-price labels last year — Tapemeasure, Emma James, JH Collectibles and Intuitions. The $11.85 billion sourcing company has plans to grow to $20 billion by 2010, and both managing supply chains for separately owned companies and full acquisitions are expected to be instrumental in that growth.
Besides Li & Fung, sources said Paul Charron’s new private equity firm, part of Fidus Partners, is also looking at acquiring Mexx. Charron declined comment.
Claiborne has said it is committed to Mexx, which makes up about a third of its volume, but it has been open to selling underperforming businesses to better focus on higher-performing segments.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)