In the summer of 2010, Liz Claiborne Inc., an international apparel designer and distributor, announced that it would exit its retail outlet business and license the Liz Claiborne brand to JC Penney. To pave the way for the transition, Liz Claiborne engaged Gordon Brothers to operate the stores on an interim basis to maintain remaining on-order commitments and then undertake the closure of the 88 stores by the end of the year. We pursued a guaranteed return on inventory structure that provided certainty to the company.
To project presented dual challenges, needing to promote the perception of value for the sale events in the context of highly promotional outlet centers, while also maintaining brand integrity for the upcoming licensing application.
As a result, we crafted a custom special events program, using unique incentives for consumers to drive sales. We also maintained a high level of care surrounding the brand as we entered the store closing phase to maintain value for future brand licensing.
Despite these constraints, we were able to reverse a -21% ongoing sales trend to flat. We also undertook strategic inventory transfers to increase margins on categories affected by seasonal changes across different geographies.
The project allowed Liz Claiborne to smoothly transition the brand to its new licensing application, where it maintains its heritage as a leading apparel source for women’s sportswear.