Following a comprehensive review, Liz Claiborne Inc
. has announced plans to exit its 87 Liz Claiborne branded outlet stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, focusing on building the brand through its partnerships with JCPenney and QVC, set to launch next month.
As a result of this decision, the company expects the meaningful operating losses related to this business to be eliminated in early 2011 when the closings should be complete. Its other outlet stores in the United States and Puerto Rico for its Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand, Kate Spade and Kensie brands will not be impacted by this decision.
CEO of Liz Claiborne Inc. William L. McComb noted a number of factors that led the to the decision: "Our current fleet of Liz Claiborne branded outlet stores was originally designed and leased to handle clearance for many brands in our portfolio -- an outdated consumer proposition and one that no longer makes economic sense, given the vast changes we have made to our portfolio and business strategy over the past three years.
"In addition, our corporate strategy allocates the majority of our capital dollars to our retail-based Direct Brands, while leveraging a stable of partnered brands for additional revenue generation and to help support our growth opportunities across the company. Considering the capital efficient, licensing-oriented model for the Liz Claiborne brand, our organizational energy and resources are better used to support successful and profitable businesses at JCPenney and QVC."