Saks Inc. is closing the 78-door Club Libby Lu tween specialty store business, which no longer fits its strategic model.
Saks has trimmed down in recent years to focus on its namesake business, selling its Parisian and Profitt’s/McRae’s businesses to Belk Inc. and its Northern Department Store Group to The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.
“Club Libby Lu is an innovative concept that was a better strategic fit with our traditional department store business,” said Stephen I. Sadove, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks. The chain was described as an experience-driven concept catering to VIPs, or “very important princesses” between ages four and 12.
In addition to the specialty stores, there are also 20 Club Libby Lu shop-in-shops at department stores previously owned by Saks. The business generated about $60 million in sales last year, Saks said.
“Discontinuing the operations of Club Libby Lu is the appropriate decision so that we can focus 100 percent of our time and resources on executing the strategies of our core Saks Fifth Avenue business,” Sadove said.
The shutdown, set to be completed by the end of Saks’ first quarter on May 2, will leave dark even more real estate in a market already struggling to fill space from store closings or bankruptcies. Wilsons The Leather Experts, Talbots and D.e.m.o. are just some of the specialty chains that have shuttered doors this year.
Club Libby Lu employs about 1,700 associates, who will be offered severance packages.
The closure will weigh on Saks’ earnings for the rest of this year and is expected to result in an after-tax noncash charge of about $11 million in the third quarter and after-tax charges ranging from $18 million to $27 million in the fourth quarter.
Saks acquired the mall-based chain in May 2003 from three owners for about $12 million when it had just 11 stores.
But the company began to focus more on its namesake luxe stores and by September 2005 there was speculation that the then 51-door chain would be sold. Potential bidders were said to include Forever 21, Too Inc., Claire’s and Build-A-Bear.
At the time, Saks was said to be looking for $40 million for the chain, but couldn’t put together a deal.
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)