Juicy Couture to close US stores, debut World of Juicy

Juicy Couture, maker of the once ubiquitous bedazzled track suit, will shutter all U.S. stores to focus on international operations, new boutique formats and a "pink label" product line to be sold at Kohl's (NYSE:KSS).

The brand's free-standing shops will be shuttered by the end of June, according to Racked LA.

Last November, Kohl's announced a deal to sell Juicy-branded apparel. The move to the mid-tier department store may have signaled the end of the brand's appeal to the high-end shoppers most free-standing stores are targeting.

Juicy Couture was founded by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, and the candy-colored terry cloth track suits were an emblem of the 2000s. The two sold Juicy to Liz Claiborne in 2003, and are now launching a new label: Pam & Gela, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Their original brand, however, has since been bought and sold a couple of times over and now is part of the Authentic Brands Group stable of licensed labels, under whose auspices the deal with Kohl's was inked.

And while the future of that program is changing, the brand itself isn't going anywhere. In fact, a new boutique — tentatively titled The World of Juicy — will open in New York City sometime next spring, according to The Huffington Post.

"The beach, the whole relaxed lifestyle that Juicy Couture created – as time went on, they sort of forgot about that," Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO of Authentic Brands Group told The Huffington Post. "We want to put the coolness back into the brand and put it where the cool people shop."

"The brand wasn't broken, the business model was broken," he said.

The brand will refocus on accessories, handbags and footwear in addition to the signature track suits. It will exit shopping malls, although leases are still held by Kate Spade, and expand concept stores with two formats – one for intimates and sleepwear, another for young girls' clothes – in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

The product line will further be divided into premium, or "black label" goods, and a mid-tier "pink label" that will be sold at Kohl's.

For more:
-See this Wall Street Journal story 
-See this Huffington Post story
-See this Racked LA story

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