New York—So much for “revenge retail.”
C. Wonder, the women’s specialty chain, created by billionaire Christopher Burch following his divorce from Tory Burch, is closing down its remaining 11 stores.
Rumors had circulated in November 2014 that the company was going belly up but those reports were denied. Then on Monday, in a town hall meeting, the 100 or so remaining employees were told that the brand was shutting down the 11 doors it still has. C. Wonder has already pulled down its social-media accounts, and its website will close down in a few weeks, according to BuzzFeed.
‘Competitive’ Retail Environment
“Due to the highly competitive nature of the current retail environment, C. Wonder will be closing its remaining stores. The company continues to evaluate its best alternative to maintain the C. Wonder experience for its customers,” a spokesperson said. Chris Burch apparently did not attend the meeting.
When Burch opened his first C. Wonder store in 2011, selling mostly home furnishings, jewelry and gifts, some compared it to ex-wife Tory’s higher-end brand, calling it a case of revenge retail.
“The company, for example, spent a couple of years opening an expensive Flatiron store in Manhattan; internally, it’s believed that Chris chose that spot because a hair salon favored by Tory Burch is upstairs,” BuzzFeed reported.
The company has 11 U.S. stores listed on its website, excluding a seasonal Nantucket location, and was slated to call them at noon today to inform them of the closures, BuzzFeed said a source told it. C. Wonder also has three international stores and has been in the process of expanding into the Philippines.
CEO Harlan Kent told employees at the town hall meeting “that the company tried many tactics to turn itself around in the past six months, from closing stores to cutting staff, but that it wasn’t enough,” the person said. Kent added that the board of directors made the decision to close the entire business.
Meanwhile Chris Burch reportedly has been busy occupying himself with other projects, including a line with Ellen DeGeneres call E.D. and a resort in Nihiwatu, Indonesia.