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Jill Granoff continues to remake the Kellwood portfolio — and the latest casualty is Lamb & Flag.
This story first appeared in the June 14, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The retail concept — green-lit by former Kellwood Co. chief executive officer and current J.C. Penney Co. Inc. chief operating officer Michael Kramer — that had ambitions to become a 700- to 800-door chain, is being excised from Kellwood. “Kellwood is taking a new strategic direction with our brand portfolio and has decided it will no longer invest in start-up concepts that only have a long-term payback. We will be focusing our resources on businesses that have the greatest potential for meaningful growth and profitability,” said Granoff, who was named ceo of Kellwood in May.
The apparel company, which has Vince, Rebecca Taylor, David Meister, Zobha, Baby Phat, Phat Farm, Sag Harbor, Briggs NY, Jolt, My Michelle and XOXO in its brand portfolio, is seeking to sell Lamb & Flag, and Granoff noted there are a few potential buyers that have expressed interest. However, she suggested Lamb & Flag’s three existing stores in Southern California at the Brea Mall, The Shops at Mission Viejo and Los Cerritos Center would be closed if a deal is not done in a timely fashion.
“While the brand story and product are terrific, it would take many years and a lot of capital to build awareness and get this business to be profitable. This decision will allow us to redeploy our resources to other existing brands in our portfolio,” concluded Granoff.
In another example of Kellwood’s strategy to direct its energy away from smaller, emerging concepts, the company decided earlier this year that it would no longer finance BLK DNM, although it retains a minority interest in the brand founded by Johan Lindeberg. BLK DNM recently received an investment from John and Jamey Hargreaves.