Malaysian fashionistas, take note. One of the most well-loved and remembered brands in retail fashion, ESPRIT, will be closing down for good in Malaysia by the end of June.
As reported by South China Morning Post, the retail giant will be forced to close over 52 stores across Asia outside of China, as it battles with massive losses compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Founded in 1968 by Susie and Doug Tompkins (who also founded the brand The North Face), the ESPRIT line of clothing was initially sold out of the couple’s VW bus. After massive success, the brand was then sold to a Hong Kong firm in the 1970s. ESPRIT opened its very first retail outlet in Malaysia in 1995, and has since become a very familiar name for many shoppers locally.
Best known and remembered for their distinctive ‘triple-bar’ ESPRIT logo, the brand prides itself on offering a great selection of well-made casual clothing, but wound up facing immense challenges as the retail sector grew increasingly competitive. As of 2020, stores in Asia outside of China located in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau represented less than 4% of their global turnover.
This is on top of additional pressure faced by the brand in light of the Covid-19 global pandemic. This closure, which is expected to be complete by June 30th 2020, will affect over 56 retail stores.
The decisionwas done to “restructuring initiatives to focus resources and re-calibrate operations”, said the retail giant.
At this point in time, the group is also actively negotiating with their landlords across all market regions for possible rental relief options, reductions, or better rental terms.
What do you guys think of this development? Were you guys fans of ESPRIT too?
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