Blog: Talbots finally finds J Jill buyer
Leonie Barrie | 9 June 2009
The sale of Talbots’ J Jill stores to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, and Filene’s Basement to a unit of Men’s Wearhouse, in the space of just two days has raised hopes for the troubled US retail market.
After all, the fact several companies were vying to buy each of the retail chains suggests they still see potential for the loss-making formats and are confident they will be able to breathe new life into their investments. And while some store closures and job losses are an inevitable casualty of the deals, it is also worth noting that the new owners have promised to safeguard the vast majority of positions at the two store groups.
That said, there is also relief that Talbots has finally offloaded the white elephant it bought following a bidding war in 2006. The $75m deal announced yesterday falls way short of the $517m paid by Talbots just three years ago, and suggests the women’s wear chain was prepared to sell its J Jill unit at almost any price.
But however much money it lost on the sale, it is now free to focus on trying to turn around its core Talbots chain without the distraction of a second drain on its finances.
The retailer has already suffered more than most from the slowdown in consumer spending as it tried to refocus on its 35-plus customers. It has closed its kids', men's, and UK shops, axed 370 jobs in February, reduced working hours, changed employee benefits, cut overheads and closed stores, and intends to halve capital expenditure this year.
But even so, progress has been slow. Today the retailer unveiled plans to cut its workforce by a further 20% after swinging to a first quarter loss of US$18.8m, but said it was making “steady progress” on its turnaround.
In contrast, over the last five years Golden Gate Capital has completed around 20 multi-channel retail acquisitions – including Express – totalling in excess of $3.5bn in annual revenues. It’ll be interesting to see how it plans to build on the potential of the J Jill brand as an independent company.
Some of just-style’s more eagle-eyed readers might have noticed a small change to the menu bar on the homepage: the addition of the word re:source. Yes it might be a small change – but it marks the co...
Over the past week just-style has continued to try to unravel the potential ramifications of Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States....
One event dominated the international airwaves last week, and on just-style too we took a closer look at the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States....
As the Brexit roller-coaster continues to twist and turn, and the US presidential election campaign nears its unpredictable and possibly protectionist end, there's no doubt these events – and the perc...
- Why do modern robotics elude sportswear makers?
- Traditional financing is a misfit for fast fashion
- Bagir CEO says suit-maker is back on track
- Trump trade policy – Who knows what he'll do?
- Planning is key to an effective inventory strategy
- Bagir exports first trousers for H&M from Ethiopia
- US Q3 in brief - G-III Apparel, Express
- Fruit of the Loom CEO Medlin dies suddenly
- Film documents Cambodia garment workers' stories
- Crystal expands empowerment project to male staff
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Footwear Top 5 Emerging Markets Industry Guide_2016
- REPORT BUNDLE: Africa-Med, Southeast Asia and Central America strategic sourcing pack