LONDON — Store closures on the British high street are coming thick and fast. Earlier this month, Jaeger announced it was closing 20 stores after tumbling into administration, the U.K. equivalent of Chapter 11, while Juicy Couture and Marks & Spencer units are also set to disappear.
A source close to Juicy Couture has confirmed that the label will close both of its retail stores in London, a flagship on Regent Street and a unit at Westfield White City. The label will only be available online to U.K. consumers.
According to paperwork filed at Companies House, the official registry of U.K. businesses, Juicy’s operations in Britain were suffering significant losses. For the year ending January 2016, the company’s losses totaled four million pounds, or $5.1 million.
As of 2014, Juicy Couture’s retail and wholesale distribution rights in Ireland, the U.K. and continental Europe are owned by the Athens-based FF Group. That group also owns jewelry brands Links of London and Folli Follie, and handles the Greek retail and wholesale distribution of brands including Nike, Scotch & Soda, Ted Baker and Ugg.
Juicy Couture was the only brand the group handled internationally. FF Group declined repeated requests for a comment.
Outside the U.K., the company, which is owned by the Authentic Brands Group, has been trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of ath-leisure and the renewed attention toward the label, following a collaboration with Vetements.
Its latest campaign, dubbed Juicy Next Gen, spotlights the next generation of global Juicy girls and includes the likes of Paige Reifler, Chiara Scelsi, Isabella Peschardt, Rubina Dyan and Sarah Snyder. It’s accompanied by content published across its web site and social platforms, showing how influencers and fans express their individual style with Juicy Couture products.
Last February, it also partnered with Urban Outfitters on a limited-edition capsule collection of signature tracksuits, T-shirts and intimates that went into 70 doors in the U.S. and Canada, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Montreal, Toronto, Honolulu and Vancouver.
Marks & Spencer has also announced plans to close six stores as part of its strategy to improve the business. The stores affected are mostly outside London in areas such as Portsmouth, Slough and Warrington, and will affect 380 staff. The company said all staff affected are guaranteed reemployment in nearby sites, as it plans to open an additional 36 stores, the majority of which will focus on food.
“We are committed to adapting our business so that we stay in tune with our customers. We will open new stores, some will reduce in size, some will move, some will close and others will convert to food-only,” said Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer chief executive officer.
Marks & Spencer has been reassessing its strategy under Rowe and, as reported, also plans to close its wholly owned international locations in France, China, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Rowe said that he is committed to creating a “simpler business,” to building up clothing and home sales and to continuing to grow in food.