(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Rigby & Peller recently “permanently closed” its store on Third Avenue and 62nd Street in Manhattan, reducing the chain (which was formerly known as Intimacy) to just eight stores across the U.S.
In addition to the Rigby & Peller chain in the U.S., parent company, Belgium-based Van de Velde owns other retail chains around the world, and the PrimaDonna, Marie Jo and Andres Sarda wholesale brands.
At the end of August, in announcing its half year results, Van de Velde acknowledged problems with its stores. “Retail turnover in the first half of 2019 dropped by 6.7% compared with 2018 or by 8.8% at constant exchange rates. Turnover in Europe fell by 5.6%, whereas the United States dropped by 9.1%. The retail network remained stable,” it said at the time. “Retail traffic figures dropped sharply, which was partly offset by a slightly better conversion rate.”
Van de Velde bought a 49% position in the Intimacy chain in 2007 and had acquired the company in its entirety by 2015. Meanwhile, in 2011, Van de Velde acquired a majority stake in Rigby & Peller, a U.K. brand founded in 1939. In 2015 the name of the all the Intimacy stores was changed to that of the English brand.
At one point the U.S. chain had close to 20 locations, but sales at the stores were disappointing under the new management and the chain was losing money by 2014. Since then it has slowly reduced the number of shops.
The remaining stores include two others in New York; one each in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Oakbrook, IL; King of Prussia, PA; and Mclean, VA.
Worldwide Van de Velde sales in the first half fell slightly, from 110.9 million euros to 108.5 million euros (about $120 million at todays exchange rate), while group profit slipped from 15.0 million euros to 13.4 million euros (about $15 million). —NM
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