BCBG Max Azria RTW Fall 2016

LOS ANGELES — BCBG Max Azria Group LLC is the latest to fall victim to the challenges weighing heavily on many retailers.

The company’s spokesman confirmed Wednesday management is focused on rationalizing the business’s store fleet — totaling more than 570 globally — as it looks at opportunities with the concession model, licensing and the digital world.

“Like so many other great brands, BCBG has been negatively impacted by the growth in online sales and shifts in customer shopping patterns and, as a result, has too large a physical retail footprint,” the company said in a statement. “In order to remain viable, the company — like so many others in its industry — must realign its business to effectively compete in today’s shopping environment.”

The spokesman, when asked if bankruptcy is being considered, declined comment and pointed back to the company’s prepared remarks.

The move comes at a rough time across the board for brands that have already had a rocky start to the year as they are now being forced to shrink their store footprints or headcounts to stay in step with the market. The Limited, after closing its stores, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday. American Apparel on Monday laid off about 2,400 people following the approval of its sale out of bankruptcy to Gildan Activewear Inc. Fossil Group Inc. this month confirmed layoffs across its global organization in addition to store closures as the company charts its course on a multiyear restructuring.

BCBG in September reported to the California Employment Development Department it intended to cut 123 positions at its Vernon, Calif., headquarters, effective Nov. 1. A spokesman confirmed the layoffs at the time, but no additional details were provided.

In the summer it was learned company founder Max Azria was placed on paid leave with Marty Staff taking the helm as chief executive officer.

The company in 2015 said it received a capital infusion from Guggenheim Partners, but the company declined to provide details on how large of a piece the firm took with its investment other than to say Azria and wife Lubov Azria retained “a significant stake in the company,” along with investors.

“BCBG is a world-class designer and producer of apparel, which with the necessary changes, should be able to be successful,” the company said in its statement. “We are looking at a variety of options to accomplish the restructuring of the company.”

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