LONDON — Swiss brand Victorinox has announced plans to close its apparel division at the end of 2017 as it repositions its business to cater to the needs of a global market.The company, which is known worldwide for the Swiss Army Knife, plans to focus on the categories it is most competent at, including cutlery, travel equipment and watches.“Our apparel business has provided a meaningful and enriching experience for our brand for well over a decade,” said Carl Elsener, chief executive officer of the Victorinox Group. “Our priority, however, is to strengthen the brand’s position in the ever-changing global market. To achieve this, we must focus on our key categories which best reflect our customers’ needs.”The company is planning for its spring 2017 collection to be the last one it produces globally, with the exception of the Japanese market, where a fall 2017 range will also be released.The U.S., Japan and the U.K. were among the biggest markets for Victorinox's apparel collections.In 2011, the company had tapped Hugo Boss' former head of U.S. business to expand the distribution of apparel and develop the category into a full lifestyle division. London-based designer Christopher Raeburn had also been signed by the brand at the same time to provide design ideas and inspirations for its apparel range.
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