Guess is set to close 100 stores around the world over the next 18 months.
The fashion brand, which has recently launched collections fronted by stars like Jennifer Lopez and J Balvin, was forced to temporarily shutter boutiques amid the coronavirus crisis earlier this year. But during a conference call announcing Guess’ first quarter results on Wednesday, chief executive officer Carlos Alberini admitted the Covid-19 pandemic was having a major impact on the business and some shops in North America and China wouldn’t be reopening.
“Our plan is to close about 100 stores globally over the next 18 months and they’re primarily in North America and in China. Just to give you an idea, between February and May, we have closed 42 stores in China,” he said. “So, there is a significant opportunity for us to really optimize our portfolio there and we have a few more to go between now and the next few months. And in the case of North America, we have a lot of lease expirations too that gives us a lot of flexibility.”
At present, Guess has all of its stores open in Asia, as well as around 400 boutiques in Europe and over 180 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
And while the fashion industry is facing a difficult few months, Alberini is confident Guess will pull through the crisis.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our teams around the world as they acted decisively, quickly and strongly to control what could be controlled and demonstrated a level of commitment, leadership and empathy that is unparalleled. Our top priority has been the safety and wellbeing of our associates, customers and the communities we serve,” the executive added. “I fully expect to be on the other side of this crisis with a more efficient business model.”
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