Dubai—Liz Claiborne Inc. continues to focus on its specialty brands, opening today its first kate spade new york brand store in the Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates. Last month the company opened another store in 360 Mall in Kuwait.
The stores, which operate under a distribution partnership with Jashanmal Group, carry merchandise including ready to wear, handbags, small leathergoods, fashion accessories and jewelry. More retail stores are planned into other territories in the region in 2012 and 2013, such as Qatar and Bahrain.
“Kate spade new york is a lifestyle, and we are enormously excited to be bringing the brand to a city and region where a quality lifestyle is a high priority,” said Deborah Lloyd, president and chief creative officer at kate spade. “The fundamental principles of the brand are enduring quality, elegance, simplicity and always an element of surprise, and we feel sure that our colorful yet sophisticated product range will appeal to consumers across the region. I am also looking forward to seeing how women in the Middle East will add their own twist to styling our designs.”
Liz Claiborne Inc.: A Bargain Takeover?
While Liz Claiborne Inc., which is changing its name to Fifth & Pacific Cos. next month, wanted the spotlight kate spade new york, one of its most successful brands, retail analysts have continued speculating that the company will be the target of a takeover.
Earlier this month, Liz Claiborne denied rumors that private equity firms KKR & Co, Permira and Warburg Pincus “have been kicking the tires on the company.” Some reports even said negotiations center on a reported sales price of $20 a share, which would value the company at about $2 billion.
Since divesting its namesake brand and others last year, Liz Claiborne has been trying to return to profitability. Last week, Bloomberg News reported that based upon analysts’’ estimates the company could return to profitability in 2012, “reversing five years of losses that topped $2 billion.”
“With revenue projected to rise 14% next year, New York-based Liz Claiborne still closed April 10 at $12.36 a share, a 28% discount to 2013 sales. That’s cheaper than 94% of similar-sized U.S. apparel companies,” Bloomberg reported.