May 30, 2019 | By Louise Squire
Fashion chain Kenneth Cole will shutter all 63 US outlet stores over the next six months and shift its strategy almost completely to e-commerce on a global footing.
That will leave just two full-priced stores in the US, one in New York’s Manhattan and another in Arlington, Virginia, following an earlier downsizing. It will also continue to sell merchandise at wholesale.
We’ve seen a major shift in consumer patterns as of late, as the digital retail space proves to be the most convenient and accessible route for most customers. From a company perspective moving to e-commerce can help eliminate internal costs such as employee pay and the upkeep of retail space.
“At Kenneth Cole, our goal is to be the global standard for New York style and social consciousness. As we continue on our path of strengthening our global lifestyle brand, we look to expand our online and full-price retail footprint across the globe,” said chief executive Marc Schneider.
“We need to focus our energies and resources to better serve the consumer on their terms,” he said, confirming the company will close “our US outlet division…over the next six months.”
Schneider, former group president of Heritage Brands for PVH Corp, was appointed chief executive for the brand in February 2015 and reports directly to the founder and chief creative officer Kenneth Cole. He specializes in retail, outlet, e-commerce and wholesale businesses.
Cole took the 31-year-old company private in 2012.
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