As it readjusts its strategy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, New York-based luxury footwear brand Stuart Weitzman is closing all three of its brick-and-mortar stores in Japan this August, according to a report from FashionSnap.com
Owned by Coach and Kate Spade parent company Tapestry, the brand opened its first store in Japan, in Tokyo’s Isetan Shinjuku department store, in 2018. Two more locations were opened by the label in the Ginza Mitsukoshi and Hankyu Umeda department stores, in Tokyo and Osaka, respectively.
Stuart Weitzman does not operate a dedicated e-commerce website in Japan, so the shuttering of its brick-and-mortar stores in the country marks the end of its activities in the market.
According to FashionSnap.com’s report, the withdrawal is motivated by the fact that, due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis, Stuart Weitzman has decided to focus its efforts on its retail and marketing operations in North America and China.
Nonetheless, as Japan is a significant market for the brand, Stuart Weitzman has said that, should the situation improve, it would consider returning to the country.
During the third quarter ended March 28, 2020, Tapestry reported that 90% of its stores around the world were either temporarily closed or operating on reduced hours. This disruption led the group’s quarterly sales to fall 19.4% to $1.07 billion.
Sales at Stuart Weitzman were hit particularly hard, falling 40% to $51 million. Further impacted by $211 million of impairment charges related to goodwill, the brand’s operating loss widened to $531 million, compared to $14 million in the prior-year period.
As of March 28, 2020, the brand operates 71 stores in North America and 87 international locations.