Proving that industry-wide problems are, indeed, industry-wide, Steven Alan is in full-scale downsizing mode, according to WWD, and is now just doing its best to keep its remaining doors open.
“The New York-based company is in the midst of substantially downsizing its business, closing the majority of stores, exiting wholesale and letting go of a large percentage of staff,” WWD reported, which is a tough series of events to spin positively.
Additionally, the company’s optical license was terminated, and the showrooms in both New York and LA were shuttered. “It’s been a very rough two years,” company founder Steven Alan told WWD, “But we’re trying to work through it.”
And while there is absolutely no reason to think that the company won’t try to do just that, “on Wednesday morning, he informed his staff about the dire situation and told them that he couldn’t guarantee their jobs would continue.”
During more robust times, the 24-year-old company had 23 stores in the US and “employed in excess of 185 people.” Recently, however, the store base was cut down to six and the “headcount at both the corporate office and the retail units is down to approximately 20,” which is startling in both relative and actual terms.
“We’re definitely shrinking the company,” Alan said, “but we haven’t made a decision to close down. We’ve closed stores and we will close more, but we hope to go on.”
According to the story, the downsizing wasn’t wholly unexpected. The company had incurred “huge expenses” trying to fix a buggy e-comm site, failed to find a financial backer in 2015, and sold far too many third-party brands, negating the margins they made on their own, well-loved in-house label.
And even though Alan blamed the “malaise of the macro retail environment” for some of the company’s struggles, he ultimately copped to making “some bad decisions” along the way, that will make it “tough to get back on track.”
You can read more about it at WWD.