Seems Michael Kors is one more giant in the wide world of retail to suffer from a dip in sales. As a result, the company announced it will shutter up to 125 brick and mortar stores in the next two years.
So, what caused the popular fashion house to close stores? Namely, an 11.2% drop in retail sales.
If, like us, you are thinking, “But, so many people have MK handbags! What happened?”
Perhaps Business Insider nailed it when they reported in August that Michael Kors was suffering from being too “basic.”
“I think much of this is related to the brand image of Michael Kors,” Neil Saunders, the CEO of the consulting firm Conlumino, told Business Insider. “It is somewhat brasher than that of Coach, which is viewed as more of a heritage brand, and I think this has negatively impacted its efforts to become less ubiquitous and turn around its image.”
So, the little MK on the front of one’s handbag became *gasp* too popular? In a word, yes. In fact, Fashionista lumped Michael Kors in a group with seven other brands like Ugg and Northface that “cater to basic b–s and bros.”
The feeling is, if everyone owns these brands, then they are “basic” and no longer associated with luxury.
Michael Kors CEO John Idol admitted as much when he said in a statement, “Our product and store experience did not sufficiently engage and excite consumers.” He went on to say:
“We acknowledge that we need to take further steps to elevate the level of fashion innovation in our accessories assortments and enhance our store experience in order to deepen consumer desire and demand for our products.”
The desire to return the Kors name to its prestigious roots has been at the forefront of the brand’s strategic plans. In August, Idol announced they would no longer participate in department store couponing and friends and family discounts.
“We think it’s creating confusion in the consumers’ mind relative to the value of the Michael Kors brand, when it’s being seen so often on sale in so many different places,” he said.
The company’s Instagram also shows efforts to restore Michael Kors’ luxury name. Recent photos picture a brand that is anything but basic.
As of April 1, 2017, the company operated 827 retail stores worldwide, and had 133 additional retail stores operated by licensing partners.
No word yet on which stores will close.