BETTINA RIEDEL SHUTTING FIRM AFTER 15 YEARS
NEW YORK — Bettina Riedel is closing her 15-year-old bridge sportswear company. Riedel won’t ship either her signature bridge collection or her secondary line, B-Line, for spring.
She will also close her 3,500-square-foot store on Spring Street in SoHo as soon as the winter clearance sale ends. The store’s 1994 volume was $1.7 million, she said.
Riedel said most of the 122 employees in both her wholesale and retail operations will be laid off. She is not filing bankruptcy, but will reorganize her business and plans on coming back within a year. Riedel, who is known for her innovations with stretch Lycra spandex, had recently introduced B-Line, a lower-price label, hoping it would bolster her business, but it wasn’t enough.
She said her peak volume was around $14 million, in the late Eighties. In 1994, sales had dropped to around $9 million.
Her wholesale accounts included Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and better specialty stores such as Betsey Jenney in Boston and Meika in New York.