Snowden Brothers Dissolves as Retail Bankruptcies Take Toll

After five years, industry veterans Bill and Rick Snowden have dissolved their business.

Snowden Brothers LLC. launched in 2014, focusing on private-label. The following year they partnered with Shellys London, overseeing the British brand in North America. And most recently, the duo launched its new millennial-geared brand, Jane and the Shoe, in 2018.

However, its private-label business — which represented the bulk of the company’s sales — couldn’t sustain itself in the rapidly-changing retail environment. After major bankruptcies and store closings from Sears, Charming Charlie, Charlotte Russe and Nasty Gal, Snowden Brothers took a hit.

“The retailers are the lifeblood of our business,” said Bill Snowden, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “When they suffer, it ripples down and you get caught in the collateral damage. We are a small company, so in those situations it just sucks out a lot of your capital.”

Snowden isn’t the only business negatively impacted by recent bankruptcies. Iconix Brand Group has also acknowledged a hit in revenues during the fourth quarter due to Sears’ demise and Payless’ closings have also impacted several brands.

At Snowden Brothers, the company lost 65 percent of its future private-label sales, prompting its decision to close.

“It’s the sign of the times,” Bill explained. “If you don’t see a path to profitability you have to make changes.”

As for Jane and the Shoe, the label has been sold to a Chinese factory According to Snowden, the brand couldn’t go forward due to its inability to profit in the short term. “We didn’t have enough capital left over to continue to invest in the brand. It was too young,” he said.

Moving forward, the executives — who previously helped oversee their former family business Topline — plan to remain positive and begin the search for what’s next.

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