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News broke yesterday that Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., the parent company of Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, and Lucky Brand, has plans to covert select Juicy Couture stores into Kate Spade stores. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, as Fifth & Pacific finalized its sale of Juicy Couture's intellectual property assets to Authentic Brands Group just last month for a cool $195 mil. Long story short, Fifth and Pacific wants to put all of its eggs in the Kate Spade basket, which has become more fruitful since the launch of Kate Spade Saturday.
F&P will continue to operate Juicy retail stores through June 2014, but that doesn't mean some changes won't happen before then: "With respect to the Juicy store fleet, we anticipate converting a number of Juicy stores to Lucky Brand and Kate Spade New York," F&P CEO William McComb said yesterday. The brand's giant New York flagship on Fifth Avenue is already in question. Could Juicy Couture's location here on Walnut Street be affected, too?
Here's Juicy Couture's response to our inquiry regarding the fate of the Walnut Street store:
While we are operating the Juicy Couture retail stores "business as usual" through June 2014, we do anticipate converting a number of Juicy stores to Lucky Brand and kate spade new york, and re-deploying, transitioning and transferring the remainder of the U.S. Store fleet in a cost-effective manner. How specific stores are being impacted – and in what timeframe – is still being determined.
If Walnut Street's Juicy Couture did become a Kate Spade (as opposed to a Lucky Brand), we wouldn't be surprised. Here's why: 1) Lucky Brand already has a store at 1634 Walnut. 2) F&P has been trying to sell Lucky Brand since spring 2013. 3) A Rittenhouse Square Kate Spade location would really strengthen the brand's foothold in the Philly market, especially considering Kate Spade recently opened a store on the Main Line. Stay posted for updates.
· Fifth & Pacific Narrows Q3 Loss [WWD]
· Juicy Couture Stores Will Be Converted Into Kate Spades [Racked National]
· Kate Spade Is Bringing Its Playful Prep to the Main Line [Racked Philly]