Intermix is still in the mix.
Despite rumors that the 41-door Gap-Inc.-owned women’s wear chain was set to be sold, or even closed, the company has been reassuring financial players that the talk is just talk.
Gary Wassner, chief executive officer of Hilldun, which helps finance the orders of many Intermix suppliers, said all is well with the business. A source close to the company confirmed this account.
“They’re paying us incredibly well,” Wassner said. “There’s nothing past due on the account. We’re approving every single order that comes in, and in my conversations with senior people there, they’ve assured them that they are fully committed to growing it in both channels, brick-and-mortar and e-com, and that the rumors are just noise.”
A Gap spokeswoman declined to comment on the speculation.
Anxiety has grown — in part because the retailer buys from niche brands that need nearly every order and are especially vulnerable to shifts in the retail landscape.
Wassner is also chairman of InterLuxe, which controls A.L.C., and has a personal stake in Cushnie et Ochs, both of which are on Intermix’s roster of brands. Intermix also sells Bailey 44, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Elizabeth and James, Frame IRO, Joie, Timo Weiland and many other names.
“They buy a lot of small vendors, and it would make a huge difference if they were shut down the way Scoop [was closed],” Wassner said.
In May, the 16-door Scoop started to wind down its business after 20 years, hit by big rent payments and stores that were considered too large. The company, owned by Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos., was said to have hired a banker to sell the business and garnered some interest, but ultimately came up short.
Art Peck, chief executive officer of Gap Inc., spearheaded the $130 million Intermix acquisition when he was president of the retailer’s Growth, Innovation & Digital division.
When asked about the size and performance of Intermix on a conference call with analysts last month, Sabrina Simmons, chief financial officer and executive vice president of Gap, said: “We haven’t grown the fleet very much since we purchased it….It’s been trying to tighten up and learn about the business model there, so there hasn’t been much growth there.”
For now, Intermix remains a rounding error in Gap’s $15.8 billion top line.