(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). The Rigby & Peller store at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Virginia has permanently closed, dropping the chain to just seven stores in the U.S.
Meanwhile parent company Van de Velde reported a profit of 5.0 million euros (about $5.9 million at current exchange rates) in the first half of 2020, down from 13.4 million euros (about $15.9 million) in the same period last year. Sales fell 31.9% to 73.9 million euros (about $87.4 million), compared to 108.5 million euros in the first six months of 2019.
Van de Velde blamed the sales declines on “store closures from mid-March in all markets,” noting “e-commerce sales grew at our independent retail partners and on the brand sites.”
The Belgium-based firm owns other retail chains in Europe, and the PrimaDonna, Marie Jo and Andres Sarda wholesale brands.
By far the worst retail performance for the company was in the U.S., where retail sales at the Rigby & Peller stores fell by 63.8% when compared to the first six months in 2019. All stores here remained closed through June. As of September 3, two Rigby & Peller shops (in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and Oakbrook, Illinois) are still “temporarily closed,” while five are now open (two in New York and one each in Boston, Atlanta and Chicago).
Van de Velde reported sales in its other company owned shops “in Europe fell by 32.3%,” explaining that “stores in the Netherlands and Germany reopened in mid-May. Sales are recovering gradually. Local community stores are performing markedly better than those in shopping centers and busy shopping streets.”
The company explained it works “in close partnership with 3,600 independent lingerie boutiques worldwide” as well as selling through its “own retail network with retail brands Rigby & Peller and Lincherie. Our geographical center of gravity is Europe and North America. Van de Velde employs almost 1,400 employees and is listed on Euronext Brussels.”
In 2007 Van de Velde bought a 49% position in Intimacy, the then-prominent American retail chain, and had acquired the retailer 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 names of the all the U.S. Intimacy stores were 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 Van de Velde and locations have steadily vanished. — NM
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