Belford, which has been in business for more than 38 years manufacturing luxury knitwear, has made the decision to close.
The company, which is based at 209 West 38th Street in New York, sent a letter to some customers and sales representatives late last week explaining that “the current market downturn is unprecedented and is beyond our capability to weather through.”
“Due to the overall environment and disruption of supply chain (as many factories are closed down), Belford has therefore made a heartbroken decision to stop supply of new products (fall 2020). Belford will continuously service customers with our existing products,” said the letter.
Belford specializes in cashmere and extrafine pima cotton, superfine silk, fine merino wool and other high-quality yarns. The company is known for its full-fashion manufacturing, which makes detailed sweaters such as their signature double-face jerseys, intricately textured stitches and innovative patterns and prints.
Jack Fok, president of Belford, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.
Belford sold mostly to brick-and-mortar specialty stores such as Diane’s in Naples, Fla.; Barbara Katz in Boca Raton, Fla.; Cameron in Raleigh, N.C., and Hersh’s in W. Bloomfield, Mich. Another account was Halsbrook, a direct-to-consumer luxury fashion destination.
“Belford was one of our top knitwear designers,” said Halsey Schroeder, chief executive officer of Halsbrook She said they informed her last week of their decision to close. “They were a really important resource for us. We are sad to lose them,” she said.
She noted that the Belford customer had an 82 percent repeat rate with Halsbrook, while their average rate for the site is 50 percent. She also noted that Belford’s customers were about 45 percent of Halsbrook’s VIPs, and their average order was $450. Belford’s top sales on the site were in New York, California, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Georgia.
“The quality of the product was really great and was sharply priced and had a loyal following,” said Schroeder. She predicted it will be “one of the many closures that we’ll see.”
She noted that Halsbrook sold a lot of Belford’s elevated essential products, such as V-necks sweaters with buttons on the cuffs. “The quality was nice and there were great colors. They also did a really good cotton business,” said Schroeder, which appealed to their Southern customers.