By Sarah Louise Jordan
Juicy Couture is closing its portfolio of 120 stores across the United States, with owner Authentic Brand Group (ABG) claiming the retail spaces no longer represent the brand in 2014.
A statement from ABG, which purchased Juicy Couture in 2013, explained that its North America stores “are being phased out as they were opened by a previous owner of the brand and are no longer representative of the Juicy Couture brand today and ABG’s vision for the brand’s future”.
As part of an overarching relaunch plan, Juicy Couture will open ‘World of Juicy’ concept stores next year in the United States, Canada and high foot-fall cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver. The company is said to be seeking out free-standing locations and outdoor malls, rather than indoor mall spaces.
The brand will maintain its 200-strong presence in international markets, such as Asia, Europe and the Middle East. It plans to add another 127 stores to these markets over the next five years.
In April 2014 it was announced that the Folli Follie Group (FF Group) had agreed to an exclusive long-term partnership with Juicy Couture, becoming its European wholesale and retail distributor.
The partnership with Authentic Brands Group aimed to strengthen the presence of the fashion brand across Europe. As part of the deal, FF Group acquired a number of existing Juicy Couture retail stores and is now in the process of driving growth across new and ongoing wholesale accounts in all European markets.
Juicy Couture has retail locations in key areas of the UK, including Regent Street, Westfield London and Bluewater Shopping Centre.
The brand also operates three outlets in Bicester Village in the United Kingdom, La Roca Village in Spain and Kildare Village in Ireland.
FF Group chief executive officer George Koutsolioutsos said at the time: "Our broader strategy is to internationalise our brand portfolio through the agreement with Authentic Brands Group, further strengthening our presence in the fashion sector. Using our expertise, execution capabilities and knowledge of the markets, we welcome existing Juicy Couture customers in Europe and look forward to continue serving them successfully whilst attracting new customers to the brand.
"I believe this is an important strategic development for our group and it is the first step in our strategy to expand our brand portfolio to an international scale.”