The Stella McCartney business is retrenching and restructuring in the wake of COVID-19, with the designer herself leading the way.
According to a memo penned by chief executive officer Gabriele Maggio, and seen by FN’s sister publication WWD, the company is planning to lay off some staff, asking others to reduce their salaries for an extended period and cutting back on activities with an eye on reducing the overall cost base.
It also plans to reevaluate the Stella McCartney store estate and may turn some stores into franchises or strike new wholesale partnerships. It is understood the restructuring is a work-in-progress and nothing has been finalized.
Stella McCartney herself, who sold a minority stake in the company to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton last summer, and who has been advising its founder, Bernard Arnault, on sustainability, has forgone her salary completely during the pandemic.
The Stella McCartney business is not alone: Brands and retailers large and small, mass and luxury, have begun to downsize, cut costs and staff as the impact of lockdowns, quarantines and furloughs continues to bite.