All G.H. Bass, Wilsons Leather stores to be liquidated in company restructuring

Marianne Wilson
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G-III Apparel Group Ltd. is restructuring its retail operations segment and reducing its store portfolio to focus on its wholesale business.  

As part of the move, the company is closing its 110 Wilsons Leather and 89 G.H. Bass stores. (Both brands will continue to do business online.) It has hired Hilco Global to assist in the liquidation of the stores, which will begin immediately or as the locations reopen.

“We have completed a comprehensive review of our retail operations segment,” said Morris Goldfarb, chairman and CEO, G-III. “With a focus on enhancing shareholder value, we have made the difficult decision to close all of the Wilsons Leather and G. H. Bass stores and have entered into agreements for the early lease termination of a significant majority of these stores. We believe that this restructuring plan will enable us to greatly reduce our retail losses and to ultimately have this segment become profitable.”

G-III said it will focus on its wholesale business, anchored by its five global “power” brands: DKNY, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Lagerfeld. After the restructuring is completed, the company’s retail operations segment will consist of 41 DKNY and 13 Karl Lagerfeld Paris stores, along with the e-commerce sites for DKNY, Donna Karan, Karl Lagerfeld Paris, Andrew Marc, Wilsons Leather and G.H. Bass.

“Our wholesale business anchored by our five global power brands … will continue to be the primary growth and profit engine for the company,” Goldfarb said. “We have a great base of business which we believe creates a strong foundation for our future.”

In connection with the restructuring, G-III said it expects to incur an aggregate charge of approximately $100 million related to landlord termination fees, severance costs, store liquidation and closing costs, write-offs related to right-of-use assets and legal and professional fees. The portion of this charge to be approximately $65 million.

G-III designs, sources and markets apparel and accessories under owned, licensed and private-label brands. Its owned banners include DKNY, Donna Karan, Andrew Marc and G.H. Bass. It also holds fashion licenses under the Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Lagerfeld Paris brands. Through its retail subsidiaries, the company operates stores under Wilsons Leather and G.H. Bass, plus DKNY, Karl Lagerfeld Paris and Calvin Klein Performance names.