Kenneth Cole Closing its Outlet Stores

Kenneth Cole will close its outlet stores in the next six-months. Marc Schneider, CEO of Kenneth Cole, announced that the fashion retailer will close its 63 outlet stores and leave it with just two full-priced shops in the U.S.

Total Retail Take: Kenneth Cole joins other fashion retailers closing their physical stores like Coach, Michael Kors and Fossil. Although it is surprising that Kenneth Cole has decided to abandon the outlet store model, this is an area that has proven promising in recent years despite a decline in brick-and mortar shopping. Kenneth Cole believes that more people shop online, especially fashion buyers, and this will help ensure its future.

Macy’s will Open More Backstage Locations

Macy’s is ramping up for the holidays and new year in big ways. The retailer announced plans to expand its Off-Price Backstage program. The Cincinnati Business Courier reports Macy’s plans for more than doubling the number of Backstage stores to 45 over the next 12 months. The retailer is also changing up its merchandise offerings. In 13 of the 45 new Macy’s backstage locations, it is adding new categories, including toys and decor.

Total Retail’s Take It makes sense that the retailer would want to experiment with new products after a difficult year at Macy’s. But I would be cautious about going too heavy on the discount store approach. Kenneth Cole just announced that it would close its outlet stores. Other brands like J.Crew or Banana Republic have had trouble attracting customers to its discount shops.

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