The Covid-19 impact isn’t just affecting small businesses, even big brands are starting to close down, including clothing giant Esprit Holdings.
It has been confirmed that Esprit will be shutting all 56 retail outlets in Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau by the end of its financial year on 30th June. The only exception is mainland China.
Due to government restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, Inside Retail Asia reported that Esprit sales for the March quarter have sunk by 52.2% – 61.3% in its stores in Asia and 54.9% at wholesale level. Globally, revenue fell by 25%.
“The pandemic and the lockdown have adversely and significantly affected the consumer sentiment, traffic and sales performance of the group across all distribution channels,” the company said in a statement.
For the past 9 months, the 56 aforementioned stores contributed less than 4% to the group’s revenue. Esprit Holdings estimates one-off costs of between HK$150 million and HK$200 million (RM84.4 mil and RM112.5 mil) when it closes the outlets in Asia.
Even in mainland China, business are starting to “wind down”. “After the proposed store closure, the group will continue its joint venture business in China as well as its wholesale and license business in Asia, and focus on its core markets in Europe,” said Esprit.
Esprit opened its first Malaysian retail store back in 1995. It’s surreal to see it close for good after 25 years.