Luxury footwear brand Stuart Weitzman will be closing all of its brick-and-mortar stores in Japan in August as part of its post-Covid-19 strategy. This move comes as the brand’s parent company, Tapestry, aims to redirect its resources towards retail and marketing endeavors in North America and China, which are considered more lucrative markets. Although this decision means Stuart Weitzman will completely withdraw from the Japanese market, the brand has not ruled out the possibility of returning in the future if conditions improve.
The global retail industry has faced a substantial blow due to the coronavirus crisis, resulting in temporary closures and reduced operating hours for numerous stores. In the third quarter of 2020, Tapestry reported that 90% of its worldwide stores were affected by these measures. As a consequence, the company experienced a significant decline in sales, with a 19.4% decrease amounting to $1.07 billion. Stuart Weitzman’s sales were even more severely impacted, plummeting by 40% to $51 million. Additionally, the brand incurred $211 million in impairment charges, leading to an operating loss of $531 million compared to the previous year’s $14 million during the same period.
Despite these challenges, Stuart Weitzman remains committed to maintaining its presence in North America and other international locations. Currently operating 71 stores in North America and 87 stores worldwide, the brand’s focus on its primary markets is expected to contribute to its recovery and future success.