A spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that Sergio Rossi will be closing its New York, Los Angeles and Hawaii stores beginning now and into the first quarter of 2009. The company’s international locations will remain open.
“Strategically, the company has decided to focus on its wholesale, which has proven to be the correct channel for the brand development and further expansion in the U.S.,” said a company spokesperson.
High-end department stores, including Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as online destinations, such as Zappos Couture and the e-commerce boutique at SergioRossi.com, will continue to sell the line. The company insisted at press time that the ailing economy is not a factor in the decision. However, one retail expert believes the economic downturn did play a role.
“Their business has been consolidating for a while, and that combined with the way [the economy is] now, it was like the nail in the coffin,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail leasing and sales division of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. But Consolo thinks the brand can make a retail comeback in the U.S. over time. “I’ve seen this happen with retailers. They can retrench, regroup and come back even better. There is a place in the U.S. retail market for Sergio Rossi.”