NEW YORK — After abruptly closing its New York flagship in SoHo on Monday, Scoop NYC began liquidation sales at its remaining 15 stores on Saturday.
Scoop executives could not be reached for comment, but an employee at the Third Avenue location between 73rd and 74th Streets said all merchandise was 10 percent off, with the exception of hats and boots, which were reduced by 30 percent. He said the sale would continue until “everything is sold out” at which point, the store will close.
Scoop.com is also promoting 10 percent off site-wide.
Scoop’s 10,000-square-foot flagship at 473 Broadway is representative of the retailer’s challenges. Some of Scoop’s stores are considered to be too big, while the company has been tied into high rents, which chipped away at profitability, sources said. Many leases were signed when vacancy rates were lower and landlords could command top dollar.
All Scoop locations have begun liquidation sales. The units include Brookfield Place, and men’s and women’s stores in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. There are also stores in East Hampton and Wheatley Plaza in Greenvale, N.Y.; Brentwood and Beverly Hills, Calif.; Bal Harbour, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago; Boston, Las Vegas and Dallas.
While a source said that Scoop has been able to achieve margins in excess of 46 percent and sales of more than $1,000 per square foot on average, it clearly was not enough.
“They can’t keep it going,” said the source, who requested anonymity. “It’s the rents that it can’t keep up with.”
Scoop was founded in 1996 by Stefani Greenfield and Uzi Ben-Abraham, offering an edited mix of designers such as Chloé, Missoni, Stella McCartney and Roberto Cavalli. The retailer was acquired by Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. in 2007.
Melanie Cox, a consultant to Prentice Capital and Cerberus Capital on specialty retail investments, was named president and ceo of Scoop in 2008. The following year, Burkle hired Susan Davidson, who was president and ceo of Creative Design Studios. Prior to that, Davidson spent 10 1/2 years at Liz Claiborne.
Under Davidson, Scoop expanded its geographic footprint, opening stores in Brentwood, Calif., Rush Street in Chicago and Newbury Street in Boston.
“Ron has been completely supportive of our strategy,” she said in 2012. “I don’t think he wants to sell it. I don’t want to speak for them. He’s owned Sean John for years. I think he likes the fashion portfolio.”
When Scoop launched in 1996, it was one of the few retailers specializing in contemporary labels. The field has since become crowded with everyone from department stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s to specialty chains such as Intermix, Olive & Bette’s and Otte.
Burkle has a mixed track record in fashion. His involvement has included stakes in American Apparel, which Yucaipa sold off in 2011, as well as Sean Jean, Zac Posen and Garrard, the U.K.’s Crown jeweler.
Davidson in 2012 said that having Yucaipa as an owner allowed her to invest in the Scoop brand. However, Burkle may have decided that he doesn’t like the returns on the investment.